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NEVADA -- While just two members of the Gaming Control Board conducted the panel's monthly meeting Wednesday, the controversy as to which one of two appointees rightfully held the third seat was moving toward a resolution.
Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander and board member Mark Clayton handled Wednesday's agenda items while the third position sat vacant. The seat is expected to be empty again today.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported that Keith Munro, former Gov. Kenny Guinn's late-term choice for the control board, would step down and become chief of staff for the attorney general.
The move would clear the way for Gov. Jim Gibbon's selection, Randy Sayre, the control board's current chief of investigations, to move into the seat on the regulatory body, replacing Bobby Siller, who retired Dec. 31.
At the outset of Wednesday's meeting, Neilander told those in attendance he asked both Munro and Sayre not to attend the meeting.
"We have a quorum today," Neilander said. "We do not have a third member at this time. That matter is still being resolved. So in the best interests of the state, I felt it would be best to go ahead with just two members so that no one could question the validity of our actions today."
Deputy Attorney General Mike Wilson agreed with Neilander's assessment.
It was unclear if Sayre, who was named to the panel last week, would participate in any of the discussions when the control board meets today should Munro step away from the position that pays $125,1112 annually.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto wouldn't comment about Munro, who formerly served as a chief deputy in the attorney general's office. Munro was not available for comment.
The Control Board, which is the state's enforcement and investigative agency for gaming, makes recommendations on matters to the Nevada Gaming Commission. Its three members are full-time state employees.
Last week, Neilander asked the attorney general for an opinion as to who should be the control board member. It wasn't clear if Cortez Masto would complete the legal opinion.
Gibbons praised Munro Wednesday, but said he thought Sayre was better for the position.
"Keith has served Nevada well and deserves to continue serving Nevada," Gibbons said. "I just felt the Gaming Control Board needed somebody with the experience of Randall Sayre."
Gibbons said he did not know what job offer Munro planned on taking, but that he had heard Munro might go to the attorney general's office.
"I think that speaks highly of Keith Munro to try to resolve this issue and to do it in a fashion that protects the Gaming Control Board and the history of putting people on that board that have a great deal of experience in the investigation and regulatory side of the gaming industry," Gibbons said.
Gibbons said he no longer thinks it is necessary to have the attorney general rule on which appointment, his or former Gov. Guinn's was the legal appointment.
"Rather than have a long costly legal battle that the taxpayers of the state of Nevada would fund, I think Keith is making the right move," Gibbons said. "It shows why he is a highly thought of attorney and someone who has the interests of the state of Nevada at heart."
Munro, who took an oath of office for the position when he was appointed by Guinn in November, has been reporting to work at the board since Monday.
But Gibbons said he acted on his belief that Guinn's appointments were invalid, and he made his own choices.
Review-Journal writer Sean Whaley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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