Friday, Sept. 19, 2003 | 11:19 a.m.
Citing intolerable working conditions, Dan Hoffman, the No. 2 person under Clark County Recorder Frances Deane, is leaving just a month after exposing her plans to profit off records under her control.
"It's what we would call a constructive removal," Richard Segerblom, Hoffman's attorney, said on Friday. "He couldn't stay there any longer, but we hope that the county can find him another position."
Hoffman, the assistant county recorder, is now waiting to see if the county will honor his request for a transfer.
Segerblom said the county would be wise to find Hoffman another position, since he is a classic example of a whistleblower.
Deane said this morning she had no comment.
Hoffman made public Deane's attempts to block the installation of a $4.9 million computer program designed to provide free Internet access of public records. At the same time Deane was in negotiations to start a company to sell those same records for profit.
The state's 30-year-old whistleblower law provides protection for employees from retribution if they report matters of public concern, Segerblom said.
Ever since information about Deane's potential conflict of interest came to light, Deane has come under fire from the public.
At the same time several employees working Deane's office have sought whistle-blower protection.
As early last month nine employees in the Service Employees International Union Local 1107 met to discuss problems employees reported having under Deane.
It is not clear whether Hoffman was one of those employees, but ever since complaining about Deane, he has had many of his duties as assistant recorder removed, Segerblom said.
"It remains to be seen what the motivation is," Segerblom said. "But clearly things have gotten much worse since he has made his concerns public. I think there's no question he has suffered as a result of it."
Segerblom said Hofman would like to hold off on any legal action until county officials give him an indication about how they might help him.
"Frankly, he would love to go back to the recorder's office, but as long as that recorder is there, that won't happen."