Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons lectured Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto over her request to exempt 33 employees within the Bureau of Consumer Protection from state mandated furloughs, then voted to approve them.
During a Board of Examiners meeting Tuesday, Masto said the exemptions were needed to combat mortgage modification scams in Nevada, which leads the nation in foreclosures.
The Republican governor questioned whether the employees qualified as public safety exemptions, adding he feared it could lead to a "slippery slope" of more exemption requests.
Masto said the $14,400 to pay for the exemptions through June 30 could come from $1.1 million in legal settlements returned to the state.
Masto recused herself from voting.
Gibbons ultimately voted to approve the request, along with Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat.