(NN&V staff) – An exchange of letters between Governor Jim Gibbons and Attorney General Catherine Masto regarding the State’s participation in a legal challenge to Obamacare has become public.
The problem, however, is that the Governor’s office did not authorize the release of the March 30, 2010 letter written by Ms. Masto; rather, Ms. Masto took it on her own accord to send a copy of the letter to multiple media outlets in addition to Governor Gibbons. This has been confirmed by the governor and his staff in the past 24-hours in various media outlets.
As the attorney to the State of Nevada, Ms. Masto, however, is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 1.6 prevents the unauthorized release of attorney-client information by an attorney. The release of the March 30, 2010 letter may have been an unauthorized release of confidential information in violation of Rule 1.6.
“Ms. Masto, as the State’s head counsel must not only represent the State of Nevada, but do so in such a manner that complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct,” stated Jacob Hafter, Esq., attorney and Republican candidate for Attorney General. “Her blatant disregard for her professional duties to the State is yet another example of why she must be replaced in November,” continued Mr. Hafter.
Mr. Hafter, who also sits on the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board for the State Bar, was made aware of this issue on Friday, April 2, 2010. Pursuant to Rule 8.3, where a “lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct” has a duty to report such misconduct, Mr. Hafter called the Bar and confirmed that a report of Ms. Masto’s violation was made to the State Bar.
“The State Bar has a duty to investigate all complaints made to it regarding conduct of lawyers and to take appropriate action,” stated Mr. Hafter. “I am confident in the professionalism of the Bar, their counsel and their ability to investigate this matter and take appropriate action.”