Las Vegas Sun

March 19, 2018

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Lawmakers OK contract for handling harassment complaints

Nevada’s Legislature is contracting with the same firm that investigated a former senator on allegations of harassment to implement its system for reporting and handling complaints.

The law firm Van Dermyden Maddux will run the estimated $15,000 system at an annual operating cost of about $5,000. Costs do not include the price of any investigations that may be conducted, Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs told a committee of lawmakers that approved the contract today.

Van Dermyden Maddux was paid more than $67,000 last year to investigate former Democratic state Sen. Mark Manendo, who resigned after he was found to have violated the Legislature’s conduct policy.

Combs said Van Dermyden Maddux would determine whether a complaint warrants further inquiry, and lawmakers would then be able to choose whether the firm or another entity pursues an investigation.

The firm, which operates a similar system for the California state senate, will set up a hotline as quickly as possible and a website for handling complaints within a couple of months.