On Sunday’s edition of Politics NOW on Las Vegas’ KLAS, co-hosts Steve Sebelius and Patrick Walker discussed whether Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt gave a “reasonable” answer when pressed on last Tuesday’s gubernatorial forum about his support from embattled Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, an admitted sexual harasser and alleged rapist.
Spoiler alert: he didn’t. Laxalt bucked his usual practice of refusing to confirm or deny investigations, but only to use the ongoing investigation as an excuse not to distance himself from Antinoro. And, as Sebelius pointed out, Laxalt’s excuse to avoid disavowing Antinoro’s endorsement doesn’t hold water, as renouncing the endorsement would have no greater impact on the investigation than continuing to tout it.
An independent investigation found that Antinoro sexually harassed a former employee, who is now suing him, and Antinoro has received “numerous….more than 10” additional complaints of misconduct, including sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination, from Storey County employees.
Sebelius: “First of all, the AG’s office usually doesn’t confirm or deny investigations, so I think Laxalt kind of let the cat out of the bag there. But when I tried to follow up with his office, the spokeswoman said they would have no further comment.
“Second, I don’t see that renouncing an endorsement would 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. And prosecution decisions are official business and endorsements are political, so they really should be separate. But there’s a conflict, I think, for Laxalt either way.”