Las Vegas Sun

August 25, 2019

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Editorial: Conflicting accounts

Bob Gilbert, head of construction for the Community College of Southern Nevada, in February told the Las Vegas Sun that there was no conflict in his hiring college contractors to work on his home because he holds no authority over how contracts are awarded for campus construction projects.

But Sun reporter Christina Littlefield revealed last week that college records show Gilbert did indeed recommend three companies, which had done work on his home, for 13-month CCSN contracts. What's more, Gilbert was the CCSN official who awarded and managed those contracts.

College employees who work for Gilbert told the Sun he had personally benefited from low-cost or free work that the college's contractors had performed on his 4-acre estate off Kyle Canyon Road. And, the employees said, Gilbert also might have inappropriately used the school's materials, equipment and employees for his personal projects.

Gilbert has denied the accusations, saying they are the products of disgruntled CCSN employees. Through his attorney, Gilbert also has refused to tell the Sun how much he paid subcontractors to work on his property, and he has denied the Sun's requests to examine the serial numbers of work equipment parked there.

However, the contracts obtained by the Sun strongly suggest that Gilbert's version of the relationships he has with the college's contractors vary widely from the actual documentation of those relationships. Such contradictions are too numerous and too serious to ignore.

Richard Carpenter, CCSN president, said in March that he would investigate the situation. Such a probe is long overdue. These are serious allegations that have convincing documentation behind them.

Carpenter - and even the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents - should carefully examine the contracts Gilbert has made with subcontractors for work being done at CCSN and demand that Gilbert be forthright about what kind of relationships he has cultivated with those contractors off-campus.

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