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Jim Gibbons: First Governor of Nevada To Get A Divorce While in Office

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By Kamika Dunlap on January 05, 2010 10:15 AM

It's official.

Gov. Jim Gibbons will be the first governor of Nevada to get divorced while in office.

According to the  Associated Press, Gov. Jim Gibbons and first lady Dawn Gibbons reached a settlement in their divorce.

The settlement saved the couple from what could have been a messy public trial, causing more damage to the governor's struggling re-election bid.

The settlement was approved by Washoe District Family Court Judge Frances Doherty. A decree would be issued within 60 days.

The 65-year-old governor filed for divorce in May 2008. He cited incompatibility with his wife of 23 years, and according to one court document compared her to an ''enraged ferret.''

Dawn Gibbons, 55, accused her husband of infidelity, having affairs with affairs with a Playboy model and the estranged wife of a Reno doctor.

She also accused her husband of using her to foster his political ambitions.

The couple agreed to split their Reno home and 40 acres in scenic Lamoille in Elko County, lawyers said. Each has a net value of about $575,000.

According to court documents, the couple's property was the contentious issue in the negotiations.

Under the agreement, the governor will get to keep a 1914 Model T car. The first lady will get a 1915 Model T.

Typically during a divorce settlement, the couple decides what is fair and reasonable in a process of give and take. In contested divorces however, it's up to the judge to decide who gets what.

In another rendering of accounts, Gov. Gibbons repaid the state $130 after it was revealed that he used government issued cell phones to send more than 860 personal text messages over several weeks in 2007.