Saturday, May 13, 2006

Kathy Augustine: I’ve been impeached and convicted of ethics violations, asked to resign by the governor, and banished by the Republican Party.

Impeached controller to join treasurer's race

CARSON CITY -- Impeached Nevada Controller Kathy Augustine filed for state treasurer Friday, saying that she is the most qualified candidate for the job and that her ethics problems of two years ago had nothing to do with her ability to efficiently and properly run the office.

Augustine, 49, said she would have filed for another term as controller if term limits had not forced her to seek a different elective office. She is finishing her second four-year term as controller.

Augustine, brought up on three articles of impeachment by the Assembly in 2004, was convicted in the state Senate of one of the three and the least serious of the charges. Augustine was found to have used office equipment in the controller's office to aid her 2002 re-election campaign. All three charges related to the use of state equipment and staff to help in her campaign.

Augustine was censured but not removed from office for the offense.

She was the first public official to be impeached and convicted in Nevada's 142-year history.

"I don't think my trustworthy financial excellence has ever been questioned," Augustine said. "It was never about the financial job I was doing in my office, and I think I am the most qualified candidate, having been the chief financial officer for the state of Nevada for the past seven and a half years."

Augustine filed despite comments from state Republican Party Chairman Paul Adams in February that she should not run…

"We have to say, 'This is someone who, because of what they've done, should not be running as a Republican,'" Adams said. "This is someone who should not taint our ticket."

Augustine said she has a lot of grass-roots support from people who were pleased that she stood up for herself during the impeachment proceedings.

The impeachment was made necessary after she pleaded guilty to three violations before the Ethics Commission in September 2004. Augustine was fined $15,000 by the commission, the most in Nevada history for a public official. The charges were the same she faced later in her impeachment trial.

After she pleaded guilty before the Ethics Commission, several state officials, including Gov. Kenny Guinn, called on Augustine to resign. She did not do so…


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