Yesterday, the Nevada State Democratic Party filed a public records request for any internal communications in 2017 to or from Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Chief of Staff Nicholas Trutanich about the November meeting of the Nevada Board of Pardons Commissioners and the consideration of a pardon for Fred Steese.
Earlier this month, Adam Laxalt cast the lone vote against pardoning Fred Steese, who spent 21 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval and the entire Nevada Supreme Court voted to grant Steese a full pardon. Controversy is still swirling over Laxalt’s vote, and his handling of the issue has been called “very close to a disqualifying act” that “raised serious questions about Laxalt’s fitness for the state’s most important office.” Laxalt has used a factually inaccurate statement about the case as a talking point to try to defend his vote.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released the following statement:
“We filed this public records request because Nevadans deserve more information about how the Attorney General arrived at this heartless and inexplicable decision to vote against an innocent man’s pardon. Adam Laxalt was either completely unprepared for this Pardons Board hearing, or he was posturing for political purposes. Based on the Attorney General’s inaccurate and defensive statements in recent media reports, Adam Laxalt does not have a believable explanation for how he arrived at a different conclusion from Governor Sandoval, all seven justices on the Nevada Supreme Court, investigative journalists and even the murder victim’s family.”