Friday, Dec. 13, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.
CARSON CITY -- Former Las Vegas Assemblywoman Jeannine Stroth is joining the staff of Lt. Gov. Lonnie Hammargren as his legislative coordinator.
Stroth will succeed former Assemblywomen Dianne Steel, R-Las Vegas, in the $40,000-a-year job. Steel resigned from the Legislature after the 1995 session to work for Hammargren. She was elected Clark County Family Court judge last month.
Steel had the title of chief of staff, but Stroth will be coordinator and liaison at the Legislature.
Hammargren said Stroth is the ideal person for the job because "she knows everybody in the Legislature."
Stroth and her husband, Pat Coward, an influential lobbyist, have moved to the Reno area. Stroth and Coward were married after the 1995 session. She lost her re-election bid in the September primary to Assemblywoman Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas.
Hammargren said Stroth's marriage to a lobbyist does not represent a conflict of interest.
"It might make her more useful as far as getting information but not as far as any decision or influence," he said.
Hammargren said he did not know who Coward's clients are. In 1995, Coward was registered as a lobbyist for the city of Sparks, Desert Cab Co., Economic Development Association of Western Nevada, Nellis Cab Co., Nevada Association of Mortgage Brokers, Nevada Association of Realtors, Nevada Bell, Nevada Chain Drug Store Council, Nevada Collectors Association, Nevada Grocery Industry, Nevada Land Title Association, Retail Association of Nevada and the Wine Institute.
Stroth's appointment means that Hammargren's long-closed Carson City office will be reopened. It has been closed for more than a year with only a volunteer occasionally on hand to help out.
Hammargren said he did not know whether the office will remain open after the session ends this summer or whether Stroth will continue in the job.
"Our emphasis now is 90 percent on the Legislature," Hammargren said.
He said his legislative agenda will focus on economic development, tourism and the movie industry. Hammargren, a nuerosurgeon, said any testimony he gives on medical malpractice issues will be as a private individual.