Attorney General Adam Laxalt speaks with an unidentified Humboldt County man during the AG for a Day event.
Attorney General Adam Laxalt speaks with an unidentified Humboldt County man during the AG for a Day event.
Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt visited Winnemucca on Friday. He came through town on his “AG for a Day” tour, during which Laxalt and his staff explained their various functions to the public. Soon afterward, the group traveled to Lovelock to speak there. The previous day, Laxalt and his staff spoke to citizens in Battle Mountain.

Laxalt explained that when he initially campaigned for office, “Nobody knew what the Attorney General’s office was.” So Laxalt arranged for key staff members to join him on the road to tell Nevada citizens what they do for a living. Each staffer took the floor for several minutes and afterward stayed to answer questions.

The event was attended by several prominent Humboldt County citizens, including Senator Mayor Di An Putnam, City Councilman Ken Tipton, Commissioners Marlene Brissenden, Jim French and Mike Bell, Judge Michael Montero, Winnemucca Police Chief Eric Silva, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen, County Administrator Dave Mendiola and Winnemucca City Manager Steve West. Senator

Donald G Gustavson was also present.

Nic Danna spoke of his work in the Office of Military Legal Assistance Program. Danna, a combat veteran, stated that the program offered free legal assistance to veterans. Some of their more common tasks, he said, included creating wills and powers of attorney. He said that the lawyers he worked with were volunteers, and that no tax dollars were spent on the program.

Shawn Bowen is Deputy Chief Investigator for the Attorney General’s office. Bowen had responsibility over High Tech Crimes, General Crimes, Human Trafficking, Missing Children, Tobacco Enforcement and the Fraud Unit. He said there were 50 investigators in the department, and that he specialized in financial crimes. He also emphasized the work the group did concerning elder abuse.

Daniel Westmeyer, Senior Deputy Attorney General, spoke just after Bowen. He described some of the fraud cases the group investigated, including two phone-based scams. In one, the caller says they are with the IRS and that the listener owes the IRS money. In another, the caller claims to be the grandchild of the listener, and that he or she is in trouble, and needs bail money. In a third, the caller claims to be with a charity. In all three cases, Swanson recommends hanging up and calling the organization to verify the information. Call the IRS to ensure that no taxes are owed, call the grandchild directly to ensure he or she isn't in prison, and call the charity to confirm the identity of the caller, Swanson said.

Arlene Rivera, Domestic Violence Ombudsman, spoke of the Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) program. VINE notifies victims of crime when their aggressors have been released from jail or prison. She also spoke of the statistics surrounding domestic violence. She mentioned that about 41,000 domestic violence victims, including adults, youth and children were reported in Nevada in 2015, and that 49,000 nights of shelter were offered to these victims.

Brett Kandt spoke briefly about open government. His department specialized in ensuring government entities complied with Nevada's Open Meeting Law. Kandt said the main tenets of the Open Meeting Law were: the entity must meet publicly, must post an agenda with clear and complete descriptions of the actions they intend to take, and allow the public to speak.

Greg Zunino, Bureau Chief, said his work involved the civil components of the Attorney General Office's workload. These included defending the state against accusations of civil rights violations, gaming and government affairs. A goal of his office, he said, was the pursuit of decentralization of government.

Patty Cafferata spoke of her work with law enforcement. This included, she said, coordinating a task force on substance abuse and fighting “federal overeach” that “threatens our way of life.” She mentioned work regarding sage grouse, Waters of the United States and a recent 4th Amendment case.

Attorney General Laxalt concluded the proceedings by allowing the public to ask questions. The staff then stay to speak with members of the public directly.