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Questions Arise After Water District Worker Accused Of Stealing $4.5 M

lv_valley_water_district.jpg

By Geographer (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

So a Las Vegas Valley Water District employee is accused of scamming the agency by using rate payer dollars and Water District invoices to buy printing cartridges. Investigators believe she may have bought thousands of them day after day and sold them to someone in New Jersey, pocketing the money. 

Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin, who is also a board member for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, told KNPR's State of Nevada he was "disappointed" he didn't know about this until he was called by a member of the media to talk about the issue. 

The Clark County Commission is the board of the directors for the Water District, which is the entity from which people in the city of Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County buy their water. 

The Water Authority on the other hand is the wholesale entity for the entire region and is overseen by a board of directors that include officials from around Southern Nevada

Coffin said the county commissioners knew about the allegations and investigation months before the story broke.

The city councilman believes it is time to "revisit audit procedures." Auditors for the Water District have said they followed the rules, but Coffin contends that while rules were followed sometimes rules need to be adjusted. 

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The story has another twist, the woman accused of the scam, Jennifer McCain-Bray, left the Water District and was then hired in a similar job, as a purchaser, by UNLV.

A line in a Las Vegas Review-Journal story said this last week.

“District officials said she was on paid administrative leave and in the process of being fired at the time of her resignation.”

That fact has people including Councilman Coffin wondering why the Water District didn't communicate with UNLV. 

"That is a problem for UNLV," Coffin said, "I cannot believe they didn't at least inquire." 

Coffin also said the process could have been different because she was a contracted employee not a full employee of the state. 

According to KLAS-TV, McCain-Bray was let go from UNLV

 

Guests

Bob Coffin, Las Vegas City Councilman, Southern Nevada Water Authority board member

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