Amid financial woes and political upheaval, one of America's fastest-growing cities is scrambling to defend itself following a report that "integrity" is being stripped from its employees' official list of core values.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported that North Las Vegas is looking to edit down its lengthy list of "core values," and that values like "integrity" and "respect" and "leadership" might be on the chopping block.

But North Las Vegas city spokesman Mitch Fox ripped what he described as "terrible reporting."

Fox acknowledged an 11-member employee committee is looking to streamline the city's "core values" because "no one knew what they were."

But Fox stressed that nothing has been decided, and, "No decision will be made for two months."

"We want to hear from the 1,200 employees," he said. (He noted the Las Vegas Review-Journal toned down its online headline -- "City of North Las Vegas wants to dump 'integrity' from core values" -- to "NLV debates core values" in its print edition.)

For all its growth in the past four decades, North Las Vegas remains the poor cousin in the Las Vegas valley. The suburb's population soared 89.9 percent to 216,961 from 2000-2010, but per-capita incomes remain at the region's low end. The average population increase nationally was 9.7 percent during the period.

The city's workforce has expanded, too, along with union influence, from cops to janitors.

Former Mayor Shari Buck, speaking with Watchdog.org, backed the "core values" in their original form. "When we set those core values, we wanted the public to know that those areas were important to us as their elected representatives and staff," Buck said.

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