The Bear Growls: Shoddy construction but no meaningful enforcement; MGM, Harrah’s get free passes

City Center has been exposed as containing substandard construction work.  Just like the Harrah’s remodeling scandal, the scofflaws and/or incompetents who let this happen are likely to get away scot free. Do buildings have to collapse and kills hundreds of tourists before our local officials take these crimes seriously?  No one has gone to jail for the Harrah’s crimes. There has not even been a meaningful fine levied. I am willing to bet that no one will go to jail for these City Center crimes, either.

Ron Lynn, the county’s director of development services, said Wednesday that engineering consulting firm Converse Consultants repeatedly filed rebar inspection reports indicating there were no problems with The Harmon. So the inspectors were either incompetent or simply lied. What is going to be done about it?  Probably nothing.

The Gaming Control Board also has done nothing, though shoddy construction appears to be a violation of Gaming Regulation 5.011.1 … Failure to exercise discretion and sound judgment to prevent incidents which might reflect on the repute of the State of Nevada and act as a detriment to the development of the industry. It customary for counties, not the state, to police the construction trades. But when it becomes obvious that the county is unable and/or refuses to do its duty, the state should step in to protect the public.  It refused to do so in the various Harrah’s incidents, and so far it has refused to do so in the City Center incident.

Shame on the Gaming Control Board,  shame on Ron Lynn, shame on District Attorney David Roger, shame on MGM and Harrah’s, and shame on the Clark County Commission for failing to properly oversee development services and related departments.



  1. Ron Lynn. The Fix is In.

    Teflon Ron. He’s just like Asbestos. FIREPROOF.

    Did you know…

    That he lied on his resume to get the job? He flat out lied about how smart he wasn’t. It was the only way Clark County Manager Valentine could justify giving him the job. Under qualified?

    You be the Judge.

    In Building Standards, a publication for the International Conference of Building Officials, Lynn wrote he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Structural Engineering and a Master’s in Geochemistry. He didn’t. He made it up.

    When it was exposed by the Review-Journal in 2001, Thom Reilly, County Manager at the time, pulled his recommendation for Lynn’s promotion.

    Lynn’s defense? “I was wrong, and I wish it had never occurred. I allowed a misrepresentation to be put into print.”

    Didn’t matter to Virginia Valentine(the new County Manager) She hired him anyway. BIG MISTAKE.

    Under Ron Lynn’s blind eye, The Building Department has become a Cesspool of Corruption.

    Public safety no longer exists in Las Vegas. It has left the Building.

    The ONLY reason we are hearing about this massive screw up at the CITY CENTER is because a guy from Halcrow Yolles, walking the site in July, discovered rebar deficiencies.

    If it wasn’t for an Audit of the Building Department (The Kessler Report) which was released in March of 2008, the guy from Yolles Halcrow would have been thrown off the Project and black-balled for life. Things have changed.

    The Kessler Report, that cost the Taxpayers about a 100 Grand, details favoritism to Casinos and Developers who are allowed to “skirt” Building and Fire Code Laws and Requirements by providing clothing, show tickets, meals and Luxury Suites to Building Inspectors.

    In return, Permits that are required by law, aren’t required. Paper work is falsified. Inspectors are signing off on Inspections that never occur. Absolute failure to comply. WHY?


    Ron Lynn should have been fired the day The Kessler Report was released. We paid a 100 Grand to find the SOURCE of corruption at the Building Department. We found it. He’s still here.

    “Ron Lynn, the county’s director of development services, wants to learn how an apparent systematic breakdown in the inspection process occurred.”

    Isn’t Ron Lynn the reason we have a systematic breakdown in the inspection process?

    When you allow Contractors to “Do their own thing” with NO oversight and NO permits and NO inspections, you are invitng disaster.

    It happened at the Rio. it happened at Caesers. It happened at Harrah’s. It happened at Circus Circus. It’s not an isolated problem. It’s everywhere. WHY? Ask Ron Lynn.

    Anyone else, in any other Town, would have been fired years ago. I think EARNING while you’re LEARNING is too dangerous when your supposed to be in charge. Time for an explanation from Virginia Valentine. What are we missing?

  2. Rebar spacing? Well, if you space the reinforcing elements further apart, you use less material and you get the job done faster.

    I’m sure the inspection reports showed the work was being done correctly, inspection reports generally do.

    I just wonder how such “mistakes” can be made? Unskilled laborers versus highly-skilled (and more highly paid) union labor? I don’t know. I somehow think that although bending rebar is rather eaasy to do, I certainly think its easy to do it right also. I rather doubt that the people who do rebar for a living are unaware of what the required spacing is.

    Its quite possible that the decision to drop the condominum project and top-out the building at fifty percent of planned height was motivated largely by economic conditions and that the rebar insufficiencies and rebar delays were merely an excuse. I do not know. I do know however that some poor slob who toils in the hot sun installing reinforcement bars in concrete forms probably knows full well what the code requirements are. Its certainly in the specs section of the work order! It ain’t no state secret. Poor dumb slobs who’ve been working rebar in the hot sun for years surely know how their job should be done. Higher ups caught in the wringer? Paperwork being fudged? … thats all fine and dandy: the tabloids will have a field day, but don’t try to tell me that some poor working stiff “made a mistake”.

    A politician fudging his credentials? Well,

  3. A politician fudging his credentials? Well, thats par for the course, I guess. Ofcourse a phantom degree or two would have in no way prevented this guy from doing his job correctly, if he had really been motivated to do so.

    Cutting corners in construction is profitable. Somebody pockets a good chunk of change. The “costs” are passed onto insurers at some later date. When cost cutting becomes enshrined as a way of doing business those chunks of change often play a major role.

  4. FoolsGold Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Don’t make the mistake of classifying Ron Lynn as a “politician.” That he is not. He is a hired hand.

    If I apply for a Job at a Hospital, and lie on my application about going to Medical School, when in fact I never set foot in a Medical School, I would expect to be denied that Job. Why?

    Because I would be putting the PUBLIC at GREAT RISK.

    If I apply for a Job at the Fire Department, and I lie on my apllication about going through a Traing Course, when in fact I never went through the Course, I would expect to be denied the Job. Why?

    Because I would be putting the PUBLIC at GREAT RISK.

    If I apply for a Job as THE TOP DOG OF THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT, IN CHARGE OF ALL HIGH-RISE INSPECTIONS, IN THE FASTEST GROWING CITY ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET, and I lie on my application about having a BACHELORS DEGREE IN SRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, when in fact I have nothing of the sort, I would expect to be denied the Job. Why?

    Because I would be putting the PUBLIC at GREAT RISK.

    Ron Lynn lied on his application. He even threw in a Masters Degree in Geochemistry to seal the Deal. Virginia Valentine knew when she hired him that HE LIED. That’s our County Manager. Blind eye.

    Las Vegas is a Town fueled by TOURISM. Period.
    To condone and promote the HIRING of a NATURAL BORN LIAR who doesn’t give a rats a$$ about PUBLIC SAFETY is beyond a disaster waiting to happen. IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. MORE THAN ONCE.

    RIO. HARRAH’S. FLAMINGO. CAESERS. BARBARY COAST. CIRCUS CIRCUS. All caught doing MAJOR REMODELS WITH OUT PERMITS OR INSPECTIONS. All of them have been doing it for YEARS. The list goes on. Permits without Inspections. Bought and Paid for with Show Tickets, Luxury Suites, Hats, Shirts, Free Meals. Ron Lynn’s guys raking in the PERKS.

    That’s how Ron Lynn rolls. Now it’s the City Center. It’s more than rampant. IT’S EVERYWHERE!

    The State of Nevada is supposed to STEP UP when the County Governments FAIL TO GOVERN. We’re there.

    The Kessler Report is a scathing review of Ron Lynn’s Leadership as the Head of Developmental Services. Taxpayers paid close to a Hundred Grand for that Report. It clearly showed that the Building Department has its hand out to look the OTHER WAY. Time and Time Again. Free Stuff.

    What does the Commission do with that information? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They bury it.

    Maybe we need a Building collapse or two before anyone wakes up. DEAD BODIES. I wonder if that will make the WORLD NEWS? Ever heard of The Cancun? Timeshare. Next Quake. Dead Bodies EVERYWHERE. Substandard Rebar. Red-Flagged.


    Statistically, Do you know how many times a pedophile molests kids before he eventually gets caught? DOZENS. Years of abuse.

    Do you know how many times a Building Inspector accepts FREE STUFF from a Contractor before he get’s caught? ME NEITHER. But I bet his closet and belly are stuffed to the Gills. Fire Lynn.

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