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FBI looks at Nevada governor

Ex-Rep. Jim Gibbons is investigated over military contracts.

February 16, 2007|From the Associated Press

CARSON CITY, NEV. — The FBI is investigating whether Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons properly reported gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress.

Gibbons, a Republican who left the House last year after being elected to lead the state, denied any wrongdoing, saying, "They can look as deeply as they need to, and I encourage them to do so, but there would have been absolutely no influence."

A federal law enforcement official confirmed the FBI probe Thursday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the investigation, said the inquiry was focusing on what role Gibbons played in awarding contracts to eTreppid Technologies and whether he received any gifts in exchange.

Gibbons said he had not been contacted by the FBI regarding his contacts with company owner Warren Trepp, a longtime friend who contributed nearly $100,000 to Gibbons' campaign for governor.

"I don't think that I have done anything that hasn't been done by others, which is opening doors for businesses in the state of Nevada," Gibbons said.

Trepp, a former chief trader for convicted junk-bond dealer Michael Milken, also has denied wrongdoing.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that new evidence had emerged in a lawsuit in Reno, involving Trepp and former eTreppid technology chief Dennis Montgomery. The Journal cited e-mails in which Trepp allegedly discussed a payment or gifts to then-Rep. Gibbons. The newspaper said the e-mails also showed Gibbons using his congressional office to help the company seek classified military and civilian contracts.

Gibbons challenges the authenticity of the e-mails.

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