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November 24, 2017

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Steve Ross says Ward 6 challenger failed to file financial disclosure statement

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Steve Ross

With less than a week to go before his recall election next Tuesday, Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross today complained that his challenger, Byron Goynes, hasn’t yet filed a financial disclosure statement with the state.

"Byron Goynes has been a planning commissioner for over a decade, but hasn't filed a personal financial disclosure with the State of Nevada since 2005," Ross, who represents Ward 6, said in a statement released this afternoon.

"Now, as a candidate for City Council, Byron has refused to show Ward 6 voters the information he is required by law to provide," Ross wrote in an e-mail he sent out to local news agencies.

Efforts to immediately reach Goynes this afternoon to respond were unsuccessful.

Goynes and Ross will square off in the special recall race beginning with early voting on Thursday and Friday, followed the recall election on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

A ballot will feature the names of both Ross, who was last elected in 2009, and Goynes, 51, a longtime member of the Las Vegas Planning Commission who ran for the Ward 6 seat in 2005.

Ross won his second four-year term to represent Ward 6 in 2009 with 54.8 percent of the vote against his challenger, attorney Jennifer Taylor.

While Goynes has said he was approached by several homeowners association groups to run against Ross, Ross has claimed Goynes is the hand-picked candidate of local car dealer Joe Scala, who spurred the recall election.

In his statement released this afternoon, Ross claims that "a used car dealer has single-handedly funded the effort to attack me, and Byron Goynes has refused to reveal who is funding his campaign."

"Ward 6 voters have a special right to know what conflicts of interest Goynes may be covering up.

"Besides his work as a lobbyist for private developers, what is Byron Goynes trying to hide?"

In a recent interview, Goyens said he works as a community employment liaison for Workforce Connections, which is the Southern Nevada Workforce Investment Board. He said that agency, which receives funds from the U.S. Department of Labor, provides work training programs for workers and incentives for businesses to put the unemployed back to work.

Goynes has a long history of civic involvement. He has been a member of the planning commission for 16 years. His father, Theron Goynes, is a past mayor pro tem of North Las Vegas. And his sister, Pamela Goynes-Brown, is a current North Las Vegas councilwoman and vice mayor.

Ross ran for mayor earlier this year, but after finishing in fifth place in the primary, he endorsed Carolyn Goodman, who won the seat.

The "Toss Ross" recall has been pushed by Scala, who was denied a waiver to continue operating a dealership in Centennial Hills, which is in Ross’ ward.

Scala and his workers blame Ross for the closure. Ross says he tried to work with Scala to keep the business open and its workers employed, but Scala refused to cooperate.

A Centennial Hills ordinance requires car dealerships to have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer, like Ford or Toyota. When the financial crisis hit in 2007 and 2008, many big auto manufacturers backed out of franchise deals, including one with Courtesy.

Ross and the City Council passed a measure to temporarily lift the requirement, but the stopgap expired in December 2010 and the Courtesy dealership closed.

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