FBI sniffing around Gibbons: Nevada governor facing FBI probe of classified federal contracts
February 15, 2007
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Gibbons had asked the House ethics committee in November for an opinion about whether he improperly reported private jet flights and a Caribbean cruise paid for by Trepp, whose company has millions of dollars worth of classified federal software contracts from the Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command and the CIA.
The Journal reported new evidence had emerged in a federal lawsuit in Reno involving Trepp and Dennis Montgomery, his former technology chief at eTreppid. The two are involved in litigation related to the copyrights of the company’s video surveillance technology, which reportedly is used with unmanned aircraft to identify terrorism suspects.
The evidence cited includes e-mails to Trepp discussing a payment or gifts to then-Rep. Gibbons. The e-mails also show Gibbons using his congressional office to help the company seek classified military and civilian contracts, the newspaper said.
“Please don’t forget to bring the money you promised Jim and Dawn,” Trepp’s wife, Jale Trepp, said in a March 22, 2005, e-mail days before Trepp and his wife embarked on the Caribbean cruise with Jim Gibbons and his wife, Dawn, a former Nevada state assemblywoman.
According to the Journal, Trepp responded minutes later saying: “Don’t you ever send this kind of message to me! Erase this message from your computer right now!”
Gibbons said he knew nothing about the e-mails.
Gibbons did not disclose the cruise and travel on Trepp’s leased private jet, as required by House ethics rules. He later asked the House Ethics Committee for an exemption, but left office before any action was taken.
Trepp’s attorney, Stephen Peek, told the Journal that Trepp “has had no inquires or questions from any federal officials about his relationship with Jim Gibbons.”
Tom Collins, the state Democratic Party chairman who has sought access to the Reno court records because they may show “potential improper conduct,” renewed his criticism of the governor.
“Gov. Gibbons already has made a mockery of his office in more ways than one, and now we learn the FBI is investigating him for political corruption,” he said. “This governor has embarrassed the state, and lost most of his effectiveness and respect. And we’re not even two months into his term.”
Trepp has sued Collins for defamation.
Also from that last article: