County leaders trade verbal jabs

Detrick, Hartley spat follows question about expenses.

The Clark County commission meeting Wednesday ended with a tense exchange between Commissioners John Detrick and David Hartley.

Detrick banged his fist on the table and shouted at Hartley after the two traded barbs about expense reports after officials were asked about the expenses commissioners incur and funding set aside for reimbursements.

“My expense account is less than anybody else around here, Hartley. If you get off your butt and do something sometime, we’d get something done. You always got wise answers, you always want to criticize. What have you ever brought to the table here in Clark County other than destroy, destroy?” Detrick yelled.

Detrick, a Republican, and Hartley, a Democrat, have a history of tense exchanges over commission issues that date back to Hartley’s election to the board. Tensions grew when both were up for re-election in 2012.

But tensions had not reached this level in a public meeting in at least two years.

Administrator Nathan Kennedy said Detrick, Hartley and Commissioner Rick Lohnes have not requested reimbursements in the last three or four years.

“Have they traveled? Yes. Has there been mileage or conference fees? No,” Kennedy said.

Detrick became upset at comments he deemed negative by Hartley as Detrick explained to a resident that he absorbs costs associated with his position and for which he does not seek reimbursement.

Based on his tax filing, Detrick estimated he saves the county about $3,000 to $4,000 by not seeking reimbursements.

Hartley said that when he was elected to the board, commissioners had hefty expense reports and made it a point to say that commissioners didn’t always absorb costs associated with their position.

Detrick countered that was when the three-member commission had two Democrats on the board.

Hartley shot back: “I’ve seen your expense reports.”

Detrick began shouting after that comment in an exchange that lasted about two minutes.

“You have sideswipes. That’s all you do. You don’t ever contribute anything. I’m sick and tired of negativity around here, and you’re the head of it. You are the (retired NBA player) Reggie Miller of Clark County … You’re good at what you do, but you don’t ever bring anything to the table. What have you ever brought to the table … You do health care and that’s it,” Detrick shouted.

Hartley interjected that he helped bring millions of dollars to the county.

Detrick said he regretted the outburst after the meeting.

“I just got tired of it,” Detrick said, referring to comments he deemed negative from Hartley.

Detrick said he had not accepted reimbursements for expenses since 2000. He said board members prior to that period turned in expenses when he was the lone Republican on the board.

“We need to be working for a constructive resolution to our problems,” Detrick said. “I wish he would try to be more of a team player.”

Asked afterward about the exchange, Hartley said he thought Detrick’s comments were inappropriate and would not comment further.

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