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Nevada county commissioner charged in connection to using CARES Act money for personal expenses

A Nevada county commissioner was charged in connection to using CARES Act funds for personal expenses.

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo (R) turned himself in Thursday after authorities charged him in connection to voting on CARES Act financial relief programs while he benefited from them financially, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.

County authorities said 36-year-old Blundo was arrested on charges of misconduct of a public officer, attempted misconduct of a public officer, unlawful commissions, personal profit, and compensation by a public officer, among other violations.

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Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly released a statement, saying the charges came from a complaint that Blundo was "involved in decisions that provided him a personal, pecuniary, monetary gain."

Authorities said an investigation showed Blundo voted during five separate meetings on CARES Act policies in August.

The federal relief bill gave financial aid to people in need who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The policies Blundo voted on granted assistance to those in need for personal rent, business rent, business loss, and personal protective equipment (PPE) expenses during the pandemic.

"During this time, Commissioner Blundo had received in excess of $10,000 of CARES funds to pay for his personal residence rent, and he had applied for funding for his business for which he has not yet received," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Blundo issued a statement on Thursday afternoon via spokeswoman Lisa Mayo-DeRiso, saying he was angered and shocked by "the unfounded charges" filed against him.

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"My actions were not criminal in nature, and would best be dealt with under the ethics laws of Nevada and NRS281A (state law dealing with ethics in government)," Blundo said. "I will ardently defend myself in this matter."

The Sheriff's office noted during one of the meetings, Blundo said he had "no pecuniary gain from the agenda item," but added that he already received funding and had remaining applications pending.

Nevada state law does not allow county commissioners to vote on agenda items for which they have a personal interest or financial gain, the Review-Journal reported.

Blundo was elected to the District 4 seat in 2018.