Laxalt has refused to condemn Steve Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Every other major gubernatorial candidate has condemned Wynn except Laxalt. Later, Laxalt “declined comment” because of a potential conflict of interest over the AG’s office representing the Nevada Gaming Control Board — which is investigating Wynn.
In a February 2018 interview on KNPR, The Nevada Independent editor Jon Ralston slammed Laxalt’s reason for not commenting as a “crazy standard.”
“This is a guy who is running for the most important office in the state who has only given very controlled interviews…If the Attorney General is going to say he can’t comment on things because he’s a counsel to a state agency, he can’t comment on anything.”
Laxalt refused to denounce a Nevada sheriff who was credibly accused of sexually harassing a former female employee.
In April 2018, a northern Nevada developer sent a letter to Laxalt asking him to use his authority as attorney general to investigate Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, who was found by an independent investigation to have sexually harassed a former employee. The former employee was fired from her job after filing the complaint and is now suing Antinoro. In a separate letter, the developer asked Laxalt to “immediately and publicly” withdraw any support of Antinoro.
In a deposition for Keener’s lawsuit, a Storey County official said “numerous….more than 10” complaints had been filed against Antinoro since he took office in 2010. Laxalt’s office responded to the developer saying his complaint was being forwarded to “the appropriate investigative unit” but would not confirm or deny whether his office was, in fact, investigating Antinoro. Laxalt refused multiple requests for comment on Antinoro, even once walking away from a voter who tried to ask him about his continued protection of the rural sheriff.
#AskLaxalt why he failed to condemn Wynn and Antinoro’s alleged sexual abuses.
Maybe it’s because Laxalt received $20,000 in 2015 and 2017 from Wynn Resorts to his PAC, Morning in Nevada, and $5,000 from Wynn personally to his campaign in 2015.
Laxalt’s unofficial campaign launch was a fundraiser hosted by Wynn at his eponymous Las Vegas Strip resort in May 2017.
Antinoro has endorsed Laxalt’s bid for governor, which Laxalt touted on his campaign website until early July. In a May interview with KLAS, Laxalt refused to renounce Antinoro’s endorsement or even condemn his admitted and alleged misconduct, dismissing criticism as “political theatrics” and citing his office’s ongoing investigation, which stakeholders alleged may be a total sham.
In early July, Laxalt announced he had completed an investigation and would not be pursuing charges. Laxalt also quietly deleted the webpage touting Antinoro’s endorsement from his campaign website, then issued a terse statement claiming he will not recognize Antinoro’s endorsement or campaign with him, but still did not condemn Antinoro’s alleged abuses.