This time, Adam Laxalt wasn’t able to walk away from a question about his endorser, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro. In a pre-recorded interview with Las Vegas’ 8 News Now as part of their Republican gubernatorial forum, Attorney General Laxalt was asked directly if he stands by Antinoro and refused to denounce him. Not even when he was reminded by a reporter that Antinoro was found by an independent investigation to have sexually harassed an employee did he change his mind.
In addition to the findings of the independent investigation, which has led to the former employee suing Antinoro, the sheriff has been accused of “numerous….more than 10” acts of misconduct, including sexual harassment, by other subordinates, and was accused of rape.
Watch Laxalt tell a reporter point blank that he still stands by an accused rapist and admitted sexual harasser.
This was right after Laxalt completely dodged a question on what he’d do to bolster protections for employees who report sexual harassment in the workplace, offering zero ideas for how to make the workplace a safer space for victims of sexual harassment and calling the nationwide sexual harassment epidemic “irreprehensible.”
Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“Laxalt’s refusal to distance himself from a man who’s been accused of rape and admitted to sexual harassment is truly reprehensible. After dodging this issue for weeks, Laxalt was finally forced to answer for his shameful association with Antinoro, and instead of siding with Nevada women, he sided with a man who routinely uses his power to abuse and intimidate them. Make no mistake: Laxalt’s abject abandonment of Nevada women will come back to bite him come November.”
8 News Now: Given what you just said, can you address your endorsement from the Storey County Sheriff who has [faced] multiple allegations including sexual harassment and sexual assault– Now, given that he has admitted to some of those allegations against him in a deposition, will you renounce or reject that endorsement?
Laxalt: So, you know, we’re a prosecuting office. I hope the voters understand while there’s political theatrics going on right now and people demand immediate rejection or endorsement, things like that– this case was referred to my office just a few weeks ago. I have career prosecutors and investigators looking on it. And I’ve said this before– it’s not covered, of course; they want to use this as a political battering ram– I’m not going to do or say anything until that investigation is complete. And I think if I were to come out and unendorse or endorse at this stage of the game, it would either predict or prejudge the investigation.
8 News Now: There was an investigation, though, and according to that– It said “It is our opinion that a reasonable person could have concluded that the text messages sent by the sheriff were meant to be suggestive comments or requests, demands or pressure for sexual favors.” So, given that information– that investigation has already been concluded– do you still accept his endorsement or would you reject that endorsement?
Laxalt: What I said still stands. I don’t want to say anything about this until my office has concluded its investigation. It will conclude its investigation– it will move forward or not move forward forward. At that point in time, I can address this political side, whether I’m going to accept an endorsement or not endorsement. But I believe it’s proper to wait until our office has completed its review