CARSON CITY, Nev. – The FBI is investigating whether Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons failed to properly report gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress.
The newly-elected Republican governor denied any wrongdoing and said that “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 probe Thursday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the inquiry is focusing on what role Gibbons played in awarding contracts to eTreppid Technologies LLC and whether he received any gifts in exchange.
Gibbons said he had not been contacted by the FBI regarding his contacts with Warren Trepp, a longtime friend and owner of eTreppid who contributed nearly $100,000 to Gibbons’ campaign for governor.
Trepp, a former chief trader for convicted junk-bond dealer Michael Milken, also has denied any wrongdoing. He didn’t immediately return calls Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that new evidence had emerged in a lawsuit in Reno, including e-mails to Trepp discussing a payment or gifts to then-Rep. Gibbons. The e-mails also show Gibbons using his congressional office to help the company seek classified militar`y and civilian contracts, the newspaper said.
Gibbons said he knew nothing about the e-mails and questioned their authenticity, as did Trepp’s attorney, Stephen Peek.