Federal prosecutors have closed an 18-month investigation into ties between Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) and a defense contractor without bringing criminal charges, according to lawyers involved in the case.
Gibbons had been in the sightlines of prosecutors in the District of Columbia and agents in the FBI's Washington field office since late 2006. News reports at the time highlighted a series of earmarks that Gibbons engineered for a defense company in his state while he served as a member of the U.S. House intelligence and armed services committees.
The federal probe eventually expanded to include thousands of dollars in consulting payments to the governor's wife, Dawn, from another Nevada military contractor. Dawn Gibbons, a former state legislator, arranged meetings and news conferences in exchange for the $35,000, her attorney said.
Watchdog groups said the connections between the governor and the companies, eTreppid Technologies and Sierra Nevada Corp., were engendered by the cozy atmosphere that fostered public corruption scandals across Capitol Hill this decade. Jim Gibbons, a five-term House member, left Washington two years ago to run for the governorship of his home state.