(Victor Joecks/NPRI) – The City of North Las Vegas Fire Department yesterday confirmed in a news release that Assembly Speaker and NLV Assistant Fire Chief John Oceguera drew both his legislative and firefighting salaries during the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions. The fire department produced unsigned agreements stating that Oceguera worked 18 hours a week for the fire department during the 2009 legislative session and nine hours a week for the fire department during the 2011 legislative session.
“I’d like to thank North Las Vegas Fire Chief Al Gillespie for officially confirming that Speaker Oceguera drew pay both as a legislator and as an assistant fire chief during the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions,” said Steven Miller, managing editor of Nevada Journal and author of the article “Speaker Oceguera — another government ‘double-dipper’?” which led to the fire department’s news release.
“Aside from raising a host of ethical and separation-of-powers questions, this is information that the citizens of North Las Vegas and the voters in Oceguera’s district have long deserved to know. At an absolute minimum, this should have been disclosed publicly prior to the start of the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions.”
Miller also noted that this revelation also raises numerous other questions, including:
- Why didn’t either Oceguera, Gillespie or the department’s public information officer release the agreements to Nevada Journal when the publication sought interviews and requested documentation that would clarify matters?
- Why did the fire department pay Oceguera for 18 hours of work per week in 2009, but only for nine hours of work per week in 2011 for job responsibilities that were practically identical?
- If, as Chief Gillespie has stated publicly, Oceguera worked early in the mornings and one weekend day during the session, how did he ‘monitor day to day operations’ or participate in ‘regular staff meetings’ — two obligations spelled out in the agreement between the fire department and Oceguera?
Miller also challenged Gillespie, who attempted to disparage Nevada Journal’s reporting, to find one substantive factual error in the meticulously researched article which reflected records obtained directly from the City of North Las Vegas. “If the chief is upset that his department provided Nevada Journal with inaccurate records,” said Miller, “he should find out why his department is releasing inaccurate information.”
Update to original story: “NLV fire department confirms Oceguera’s double-dipping” is available at http://nevadajournal.com/2011/06/30/nlv-fire-department-confirms-ocegueras-double-dipping/.
Original story: “Speaker Oceguera — another government ‘double-dipper’?” is available at http://nevadajournal.com/2011/06/29/speaker-oceguera-another-government-double-dipper/.
NLV fire department press release in response to Nevada Journal’s story is available at http://www2.8newsnow.com/docs/npri_response.pdf.
2009 agreement between Oceguera and the NLV fire department is available at http://www2.8newsnow.com/docs/2009_contract.pdf.
2011 agreement between Oceguera and the NLV fire department is available at http://www2.8newsnow.com/docs/2011_contract.pdf.