Investigation into Political Ally, Sheriff Antinoro

Last updated: 7/12/18.

In May, Laxalt refused to renounce the endorsement of an alleged rapist and admitted sexual harasser, citing that he was the subject of an official investigation.

In an interview with Las Vegas’ 8 News Now, Laxalt dismissed the growing controversy surrounding his refusal to denounce Storey Co. Sheriff Gerald Antinoro as “political theatrics.” 

Laxalt said rejecting Antinoro’s endorsement would “prejudge” his office’s investigation, even though he was scheduled to campaign with Antinoro that weekend.

Later, 8 News Now’s Steve Sebelius pointed out that “renouncing an endorsement [wouldn’t] pose any larger a conflict for the prosecutors in his office than simply accepting an endorsement in the first place, which Laxalt clearly has done.”

In June, questions were raised about whether Laxalt was actually investigating, because many key players said Laxalt’s office hadn’t contacted them.

A top investigator in the attorney general’s office told a lawyer for a developer who asked Laxalt to investigate Antinoro that allegations against the sheriff are outside the statute of limitations, and told a tribal police chief that the office would not be opening an investigation.

Antinoro’s former deputy, who sued the county after an independent investigation found her allegations of sexual harassment against Antinoro to be credible, said she had not been contacted by anyone in the attorney general’s office regarding her case. Antinoro also told the Associated Press he had not been informed he was under investigation.

The Nevada Independent filed a public records request to obtain any proof that an investigation is taking place.

“If they’re doing an investigation and they haven’t contacted the central witness and the chief investigator has told people that the statute of limitations is expired on some of these allegations, what are they investigating?” — Jon Ralston, The Nevada Independent, on KNPR

In 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 nor campaign with him.

In a response to Laxalt’s five-page report from his office’s investigation into sexual assault and harassment allegations against his political ally and campaign endorser Antinoro, Reno attorney Joey Gilbert asserted that Laxalt’s office failed to contact several alleged victims who have made complaints of rape and sexual harassment against Antinoro, including the former deputy who is suing Storey County after an independent investigation found Antinoro sexually harassed her.

#AskLaxalt if he really cares about seeking justice for Antinoro’s victims.

Laxalt accepted Antinoro’s endorsement despite the fact that his shocking record of misconduct has been public knowledge since at least 2016, when citizens successfully petitioned to recall him over his demonstrated pattern of sexual predation and unethical conduct, including findings from an independent investigation that concluded he sexually harassed his employee and “numerous….more than 10” acts of misconduct against subordinates. For weeks, Laxalt refused to answer questions about Antinoro’s endorsement — even walking away from a voter who attempted to talk to him, dismissed criticism as “political theatrics,” and was even scheduled to campaign with Antinoro while his office was investigating him.