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Howard Stutz

Sayre to get spot on Nevada control board

12 January 2007

and Sean Whaley

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- After nearly a week of uncertainty, the Gaming Control Board finally got its third member Thursday.

Randy Sayre, who was named to the panel by Gov. Jim Gibbons on Jan. 4, will get the seat after Keith Munro, who was appointed to the position by former Gov. Kenny Guinn, stepped away from the job and took a job as chief of staff to the attorney general.

"My role really the last few days was to sit back and let the issues unfold," Sayre said. "I think the way Chairman Neilander handled things went smoothly. I'm now ready to move forward."

Both the outgoing governor and the new governor believed they were entitled to appoint members to the control board. The attorney general had been asked to decide which appointee would hold the seat, but that became a moot point Thursday.

Munro, who had been Guinn's chief of staff, resolved the matter when he took a new chief of staff's position with Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

The dispute over who was entitled to the seat spilled over into this week's monthly control board meeting in Las Vegas. Chairman Dennis Neilander asked both Munro and Sayre to stay away from the meeting because it was unclear who was the rightful board member. He and board member Mark Clayton handled the agenda items.

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.

Sayre, who is the control board's current chief of investigations, is replacing Bobby Siller, who retired Dec. 31. The position pays $125,112 annually.

Sayre, who rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Nevada Army National Guard, said he was happy the matter was resolved.

Munro, who will earn $105,000 a year, will manage the attorney general's Reno office. He will also serve as the attorney general's legislative liaison.

Cortez Masto said she was happy to have Munro join her staff.

"This is a great opportunity for my office to benefit from years of distinguished public service by a skilled lawyer and administrator," Cortez Masto said. "With his prior experience working at the attorney general's office, Keith has excellent knowledge of the functions and duties of the office and will make a good transition to his new position."

Since the chief of staff job in Cortez Masto's office is a new one, the Legislature will have to approve it.

In the meantime, Munro will fill a $105,000-a-year chief deputy attorney general slot that's vacant.

The duel over the appointments followed a dispute between Gibbons and Guinn over Guinn's 2003 tax increase plan. Also, during the 2006 campaign cycle Guinn shunned party protocol and refused to endorse Gibbons' candidacy.

Gibbons has denied he took his oath of office around midnight on New Year's Eve in his Reno home to bolster the legal argument that was used by the new Republican governor to undermine the former GOP governor's appointment of Munro.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sayre to get spot on Nevada control board is republished from