Nevada, the land of tone-deaf Elvis impersonators, roving bingo gangs, and a buffet-to-citizen ratio that should probably be illegal, now has one more unfortunate distinction to adds to the list: for the first time, a sitting governor has divorced.
That fact was sealed in Reno on 21 July by a family court judge, who declared the marriage between governor Jim Gibbons and his (former) wife Dawn officially over.
The decree comes almost eight months after the couple had reached a tentative settlement. But squabbles over details prolonged the divorce, and there are still a few loose ends. However, Judge Frances Doherty, no doubt wisely driven by expediency as much as mercy, advised the couple that their lawyers can sort out who receives various political trinkets, such as some items signed by the late Ronald Reagan, Christmas cards from the White House (which Dawn Gibbons claims are “paintings” worth between $40,000 – $60,000), and a couple of gun safes.
“If we are down to this last issue, I think we can all feel pretty good about what you have done here,” Judge Frances Doherty told the exhausted couple. “None of us really want to be back in court. It was a hard case and you did it under tremendous pressure. … I wish you both the best. Good luck.”
This brings to a close what has been an acrimonious process for both spouses and their supporters. When filing for divorce back in 2008, Jim Gibbons called his wife “an enraged ferret in a phone booth.” It wasn’t clear whether this was in response to Dawn Gibbons’ accusation that her husband was having an adulterous affair with both a former Playboy model, and the wife of a Reno doctor — accusations that the governor denied.
As part of the settlement, Jim Gibbons will provide his ex with 25% of his gross income over the next five years; which is about $4,000 a month at the moment. However, that will end next year because last month he lost the Republican primary. The couple have also sold their family home, and will be selling 40 acres of jointly-owned land and dividing the proceeds.
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