Las Vegas Sun

December 11, 2018

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Editorial: It’s time for answers

L as Vegas Sun reporter Christina Littlefield broke the news in March that serious allegations were being directed toward the Community College of Southern Nevada's construction chief, Bob Gilbert.

More than a dozen current and former employees of the college talked to Littlefield. They alleged that Gilbert steered lucrative college contracts to subcontractors, who agreed to work for free or at discounted rates on the custom home he was building for himself on 4 acres off Kyle Canyon Road.

On Wednesday, investigators from the Nevada attorney general's office searched for documents in the college's business and construction offices. Nicole Moon, the attorney general's spokeswoman, declined to comment.

But an informed source told Littlefield that the search was prompted by a criminal investigation of Gilbert.

One employee of a subcontracting business doing work at the college - a business that was also served with a search warrant - told the Sun on Wednesday that he had worked for months at Gilbert's house. A CCSN employee said that worker's hours were billed through the college.

Littlefield had followed up her March story by requesting documents from the college. Some requests were granted, but most were not. Documents she did receive contradicted comments Gilbert had made to the Sun. He had denied any conflict of interest regarding three college contractors who had also worked at his home. He said he had no authority over their college contracts, but the documents showed the opposite.

The Sun's requests for numerous other documents were denied by college officials. CCSN President Richard Carpenter said Wednesday that he had been ordered by Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Jim Rogers to refuse the Sun's requests because they would take too many man-hours to complete.

Carpenter says the college conducted an internal investigation, but found no evidence on which to take any legal action against Gilbert. We believe the allegations are serious enough to warrant more than an internal investigation. Taking Carpenter's word is not enough. The attorney general's office is right to be conducting an independent probe.

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