Gov. Steve Sisolak signing legislation to create the Cannabis Compliance Board in July 2019, as Taxation Department Director Melanie Young (standing, second from left) looks on. (Governor’s office photo)
Juice. It’s long been the best means of getting some jobs in Nevada. Friends, lovers and relatives get squeezed into jobs every day in Nevada’s private sector.
In the halls of government, workers are presumably hired for what they know, not who they know. Nevada law is replete with prohibitions, both civil and criminal, on employees managing their relatives.
But Gov. Steve Sisolak is not commenting publicly on the conflict his appointment of Taxation Director Melanie Young earlier this year created for Young and her daughter, Ashley Leano, who works in the Taxation Department’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Sisolak would not respond to questions, such as whether he was aware Young’s appointment created the conflict with state law.
Young worked at the Taxation Department before her daughter joined the staff in 2018, according to a spokesperson.
“Ms. Leano came from another state agency and was hired to her current position in 2018, prior to Director Young being appointed,” the spokesperson said.
In the event a personnel appointment results in an official supervising a relative, Nevada Administrative Code says the “appointing authority (in this case Sisolak) shall ensure that, as soon as practicable, the employees do not continue to hold positions in which one of the employees is in the direct line of authority of the other employee.”
Direct line of authority ”includes an employee’s immediate supervisor, that supervisor’s supervisor and each subsequent level of supervision all the way up through the employee’s chain of command to the department director,” according to the state employee handbook.
“Upon appointment to Director, Ms. Young delegated appointing authority to the Deputy Director of the Marijuana Enforcement