radio used in union battle
BY TOM DARBY
SPARKS (12 Feb.
2006) According to Communication Workers of America Local 9413,
three Fallon radio stations have reportedly refused to broadcast advertising
which questions expenditures by executives of CC Communications, which
is Churchill Countys publicly owned telephone-cable TV and internet
The supposed banned
commercials question credit card charges by company managers.
CC Communications is bound by Nevada law to make known what it uses the
credit cards for but according to Local 9413, CC Communications has only
given them amounts, dates and vendors.
Union officials claim that the company did not provide "what the
charges were for." The request was made pursuant to public records
as defined in Nevada Revised Statute 239.010. The union believes that
the companys action constituted an illegal unfair practice which
is governed by the Nevada Local Government Employee-Management Relations
A paraphrasing of NRS 239.010 reads that any public books and records
must be open to inspection. That includes copyrighted books and record.
It even goes on to say that copies of records must be provided in whatever
Local 9413/AFL-CIO represents nearly 65 employees who have worked without
a contract since July 1. A new contract was rejected in a vote of the
membership in November. They are seeking a 6 percent cost of living increase
plus a merit raise every six months. That is in contrast to the countys
offer of a 2.75 percent cost of living increase and a yearly merit raise.
In a letter to CC Communications Human Resources Director Jane Jenkins
dated Nov. 23, 2005, union spokesman John Doran requested a complete list
of managers and supervisors who were issued company credit cards, which
included a monthly breakdown of charges for the past three years for each
credit card issued with an explanation for what the charge was for.
Doran requested that the information be provided by Dec. 1. Jenkins failed
to comply with the request by the requested date.
Doran told the Sparks Tribune that he believed that it was improper for
KHWG-AM to preview the commercials for CC Communication executives.
"We could understand KVLV AM-FM declining our spot schedule, as County
Commissioner Lynn Pearce, who is charged with oversight of CC Communications,
is an owner of the station as well as a morning personality," Doran
"However, KHWG-AM unprofessionally colluded with CC Comm management
by playing our commercials for them last week without our permission."
CC Communications Attorney Mark Feest notes that the much of the unions
media involvement has been vilifying.
"We dont control radio stations here or anywhere. Nobody did
anything improper or out of the ordinary," Feest told the Sparks
Tribune. "Then they used the word collude which is in
itself defamatory and being looked into."
Feest also said the union was incorrect in claiming that the county and
CC Communications were breaking the law when it came to its public records.
According to Feest, the union wants "things like a listing of lunch
items from business meetings which might include two hamburgers, two fries,
two soda pops."
"Local 9413 keeps saying that were violating the public records
law, which is not true," said Feest. "We gave them over 700
pages of credit card statements. Now they want us to create a document
for them which doesnt exist."
The commercials began airing Wednesday, Jan. 25 on KOZZ 105.7 and KBUL
98.1. Both Reno radio stations have large audiences in Churchill County
which includes the Fallon area.
When contacted by the Sparks Tribune, Thursday, Jan. 26 Citadel Broadcasting
KBULs parent company, General Manager Sandy Gamblin said he had
no idea that a controversy existed.
However later in the day, KKOH 780, which is also owned by Citadel, broadcast
the story at the top of the hour from noon until 4 p.m.
The news story was bolstered by a cut in from local free-lance political
analyst Ande Engleman, calling Commissioner Lynn Pierce a "political
animal." The KOH report claimed that "the union commercials
were banned purposefully by Pierce." KOH failed to mention that those
same commercials were being aired on its sister-station KBUL.
This is not the first time Engleman or KOHs political reporting
has been controversial. In 2004, both the veteran journalist and the radio
station found themselves questioned when it was discovered that Engleman
had worked as both a political consultant and news reporter at the same
The Sparks Tribune was given exclusive access to the credit card records.
Local 9413 removed names and account numbers to protect individuals
When a charge for the GAP Outlet was found, there was a hand written note
below it that stated it along with other charges on the statement were
subject to a possible fraud investigation.
"The Gap Outlet along with Lane Bryant and Banana Republic all were
immediately reported as fraud and then credited by Wells Fargo,"
said Feest. " Doran knew the charges were fraudulent and credited.
The following months statement, which John has, shows this clearly."
The document showing that the amounts for the fraudulent credit card charges
having been reversed by Wells Fargo was not in the file researched at
Union Headquarters on Hymer Avenue. The missing statement in question
was faxed from CC Communications.
The Gap purchase was made on March 21, 2004 while both the Banana Republic
and Lane Bryant purchases were made on the following day. All three purchases
were made in Virginia, when the male cardholder was in Nevada.
The Sparks Tribune was unable to locate an alleged charge for "the
visits to the gymnasium."
While looking through the stack of credit card statements, a noticeable
pattern emerged. In the three years of records that had been turned over,
56 different local restaurants were listed as places frequented. These
eateries are spread from Tonopah to Stateline, Fallon to South Lake Tahoe,
Reno to Winnemucca, Carson City to Sparks.
"It is safe to say that in the last three years, many of the places
in the records have been for business," said Feest. "If they
arent then wed like to know that. But so far, nobody has provided
any evidence to us."
Doran stated the same thing about the massive amount of credit card documentation
that CC Communication provided to Local 9413.
"We are just looking for the truth here," said Doran. "This
has nothing to do with negotiations or contracts. This is about right
Copyright © 2006 Daily Sparks Tribune
partial list of vendors patronized with CC Communications credit
Harmony, Brooklyn New York
Cock 'n' Bull Restaurant
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company,
The Fontainebleau, Miami
Business Objects Crystal
Plumpjack Hotel Squaw Valley
Art Today, Inc.
Oriental Trading Company
Late charge (oops)
Stratosphere Las Vegas
Howlin Good Barbecue
Overlimit fee (oops again)
Baldini's Sports Casino
Mirage, Palms and Hard Rock Hotel,
Port of Subs
Round Table Pizza
Leilani's on the Beach, Maui
Total Fitness Athletic Center, Fallon
provided by the company at union request.
down to listen to each 60-second spot.
2.36.040 County Credit Cards:
county employee who is issued a county card may only use
the credit card to purchase goods or services for the county.
An accurate record of expenses to include duplicate receipts
of all transactions must be submitted to the comptroller's
office for payment. No personal transactions are allowed.
Any transactions not in compliance with this section shall
subject the employee to disciplinary procedures as outlined
in chapter 3.52 of this code and cause forfeiture of said
credit card upon an order by the board of commissioners.
(Bill 2002-G, 2002)
Effective Date: February 15, 1992
Revision Date: March 17, 1997
Subject: Credit Card
File Under: Administration
Page 1 of 1 Pages
CREDIT CARD POLICY
The use of a company credit card
(Mastercard) for travel and business expenses is encouraged
for all management, supervisory and staff employees.
The use of this card allows for
the reduction and amount of cash advances. It allows for
better record keeping.
Occasional purchases made for the
company can save considerable time and effort rather than
obtaining a cash advance or using your own credit card or
check. These types of purchases should be kept to a minimum.
Do not physically loan your card
to any other employee.
Receipts for charges should be kept
until you receive the Mastercard bill from Accounting. When
approving the bill attach your receipts to it with the purpose
and guests appropriately noted on the back of the receipt.
to CWA - CC Comm main page
to the top of this page