Monday, December 18, 2006

Column 87 - Bohn Must Go

As one who is committed to seeing the issue through to a just conclusion, I’ve found the community’s response to the Bohn/Mapps issue at IVGID gratifying. At one holiday party I literally could not cross the room without being stopped repeatedly for a discussion of what is happening and people’s reaction to it. The main thing I noticed was the degree to which Chairman Bohn’s campaign of deflection and obfuscation seemed to be working in the absence of concrete information on why Ms Mapps resigned, when she resigned, and what she said in her letter(s) of resignation. As long as those things remained unknown, people naturally gravitated there rather than to the more important question of the propriety of Mr. Bohn’s withholding the information.

With the publication of Ms Mapps’ first letter in last Wednesday’s Bonanza, we have almost everything out in the open. We have seen both of Ms Mapps letters of resignation and, admirably, she has written her side of the story in a letter to the editor and submitted to an interview besides. So let’s review the bidding:

In early September, Ms Mapps submitted a letter of resignation to Chairman Bohn. This is the letter that was published last week. The letter contains serious accusations regarding the General Manager’s behavior toward a variety of people, and of Mr. Bohn’s handling of the issue. Ms Mapps chose to resign over these issues. You can argue with her choice, but:


The issue is also not what Mr. Horn did or did not do – these are matters for the Board to investigate and deal with. Ms Mapps says she requested that Bohn submit the letter to the other trustees so they would know why she was resigning. She states “They should have known and been told. That was John’s doing.” Even if she had not resigned, allegations as serious as those in her letter should have been made known to the Board, in confidence if necessary, but made known.

With regard to a specific allegation in Ms Mapps’ letter, she states she was told by Bohn that he had spoken to the Board Counsel about a concern she had and she later found out he hand not spoken to the Counsel – in other words he lied to her. In his brief interview, Bohn does not deny that charge.

We further know that, after a conversation with Bohn Ms Mapps wrote a much milder letter of resignation, which she was then persuaded by Bohn and possibly Scott Brooke to withhold until after the election. We also know that Bohn did not confer with any other Trustees about persuading her to do this, and that he stated in an earlier interview that he did it out of a concern for the “fairness” of the upcoming election. To withhold this information from the Board and the public would be questionable under any circumstances, and is at the least an inarguable conflict of interest when Bohn was a candidate in the election in question.

We also know that Bohn has given statements about his actions that are grossly inconsistent, saying in one case that he decided to withhold the information and later in an unagendized statement at the December 6 Board Meeting, placing all the responsibility for the decision on Ms Mapps with no reference to his own participation in the decision.

None of the above is speculation, analysis, or conclusion – these are the facts and they are on the record.

The residents of IVGID are free to draw their own conclusions, but if Bohn’s actions do not rise to the level of unethical behavior as defined in Nevada's Ethics in Government Law (NRS 281.411 through 281.581), then to paraphrase the immortal Barbara Jordan, perhaps that 20th Century document should be consigned to a 21st Century paper shredder.

In my last column I called upon those who are outraged by this flagrant abuse of the office of Trustee to be heard, and they have been. John Bohn has demonstrated and been publicly criticized for his contemptuous treatment of the public he was elected to serve. He treats public comment in a patronizing and offhanded manner, as if it were an annoyance.  He is probably also contemptuous enough of the public to think that this will die out over the holidays. Mr. Bohn, it will not die out. As an ex-military man I know you are acquainted with the requirements of honor and I call upon you to do the honorable thing and resign from the office you have dishonored. If you do not, I and many others have pledged to do everything in our power to see that you are removed. You have already put a Trustee through having to deal with resigning – do not force the voters into the further misery of a recall.

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