Registrar of Voters Jamie Rodriguez, Comptroller Cathy Hill, County Manager Eric Brown

“The Elections Group” Report Not Discussed

Washoe County Audit Committee

On Tuesday, Aug.1, 2023, the Washoe County Audit Committee opened and adjourned their meeting without discussing the agenda item for discussion, The Elections Group’s (TEG) report of findings. Public comment was allowed.

The first public commenter, Bruce Parks (video HERE), called for the meeting’s immediate adjournment for the following reasons:

  • No committee chair or vice chair was ever elected by the Audit Committee’s members. Meetings must be opened by the chair or vice chair.
  • A county employee may not open or chair meetings, but had in fact been doing so including this meeting.
  • Alternate member Commissioner Alexis Hill has been allowed to vote and comment during meetings as documented in previous minutes. Alternates may not speak or vote if the primary commission representative is present. He questioned why county counsel has not brought this issue to the attention of the committee as it is a clear breach of County Ordinance.

Parks also questioned why two committee members whose terms expired were not allowed to participate in this meeting and be seated at the dais. No replacements have yet been chosen. Other county boards allow members whose terms have expired to remain active until their replacement is seated.

Additional speakers requested that the previous meeting’s minutes for June meetings not be approved due to inaccuracies.

The majority of public comment:

  • questioned why TEG was hired without commissioner approval.
  • questioned why County Manager Eric Brown publicly denied TEG’s presence and activity in Washoe County’s election department when they were witnessed being on-site in county offices conducting several activities.
  • detailed TEG’s biased and partisan politics and demanded that the group not be allowed to usurp control of Washoe County’s elections. Citing Washoe County as a swing county in a swing state, speakers demanded that partisan actors not be allowed to reconfigure or have access to Washoe County’s elections department.
  • called for the termination of County Manager Eric Brown due to incompetence and unethical behavior. Cited reasons were the special handling of his wife’s reckless driving charge, his lies about TEG being on location in county offices, his refusal to place agenda items on commission meeting agendas when requested multiple times by both Commissioners Herman and Clark, and perceived censorship and mishandling of Washoe 311 public information requests.
  • called for the termination of Registrar of Voters Jamie Rodriguez for incompetence documented in TEG’s analysis of department processes and the dozens of 2022 primary and general elections’ violation reports submitted to the Secretary of State. Two speakers provided firsthand video evidence of chain of custody failures and process breaches inside the ballot processing center.
  • requested that TEG’s possible second contract be rejected due to the group’s partisan affiliations and politics, warnings regarding TEG’s performance in other states, and their $500,000 fee for the proposed second contract.

Also mentioned was a pending lawsuit (video HERE) against the county and individuals within the county with additional lawsuits to follow.

A comment was also heard on the recent hiring process of the Assistant Registrar of Voters that resulted in an individual with decades of wide-ranging experience in and knowledge of Washoe elections and county government being rejected in favor of a recent county hire in the County Manager’s office.

County Commissioner Jeanne Herman, the ranking member and Board of County Commissioners representative on the public-member committee, moved to adjourn the meeting without hearing The Elections Group’s findings and recommendations. Unanimously approved by the three seated committee members, the second public comment period followed. Alternate member Commissioner Alexis Hill, who at the meeting’s start seated herself at the dais, left the meeting immediately after the motion passed.

The next Audit Committee meeting is scheduled in September.

(by Staff)