Nevada’s Criminal Navigators
Records the Division of Insurance didn’t want reviewed have some disturbing revelations.



Another navigator wrote that in 1988, “being young, stupid and drug addicted, I made up a story” — that she had been kidnapped — “in an attempt to covereup an [sic] drug binge that I was engaged in, resulting in my staying out all night, unable to be located, and causing extreme [worry] by my family and former domestic partner.”

Nevada insurance law establishes that special caution is warranted when a person seeking a license also has a criminal history involving dishonesty, fraud, theft or “multiple convictions that demonstrate a repeated disregard for the law.”

But other crimes on record for approved navigators include battery, criminal endangerment, obstructing a police officer, and drug charges. Though the incidents stretched back as late as the ’80s, several had been committed in the past decade, and at least three navigators had more than one offense on record. Four couldn’t even be bothered to fill out their applications honestly.

“Despite the above incident in my past I assure you I am an honest and trustworthy person,” wrote one navigator who didn’t disclose a petty theft conviction at a J. C. Penney in Santa Maria, Calif. “I was embarrassed about this mistake that I committed my past and feared losing my job if I did mark yes [and disclose it].”

Another navigator, who ended up with two misdemeanor convictions after a felony drug charge and a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, wrote of a failed attempt to get the records sealed after being caught for failure to disclose. “I made an error when I was young and I made another error in not putting it on my application, I can’t take it back. I’m a good citizen and I don’t want to loose [sic] my job,” that navigator wrote. “So again I apologize if I sound pushy, but my job is on the line.”

Joy Miller, the chief of the producer-licensing section, explained to me the Division of Insurance’s complex licensing process, which involves screening, a fingerprint-based background check, independent investigations into navigator applicants’ backgrounds, and, when there’s a potential problem, additional investigation and examination by the licensing review committee. And spokesman Jake Sunderland touted a “my mom” test, saying he’d entrust his relatives to any Division of Insurance–approved navigator.

As nice as that sounds, an elaborate review process means little when it fails to weed out liars, thieves, fraudsters, and abusers. In a state where unemployment averaged 9.4 percent last year, there’s no reason to make allowances for navigators with disconcerting histories.

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.