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Duncan Quietly Scrubs Antinoro Endorsement, Laxalt Still Stands by Controversial Sheriff

After refusing to renounce the endorsement from an alleged rapist and admitted sexual harasser, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, Republican attorney general candidate Wes Duncan quietly scrubbed Antinoro’s endorsement of his campaign from his website last month, only admitting to it when asked by The Nevada Independent. Just last month, Duncan claimed he couldn’t comment on Antinoro’s endorsement, citing an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

But Duncan has known about Antinoro’s shocking record of misconduct since at least 2016, when citizens successfully petitioned to recall him over his pattern of sexual predation and unethical conduct, including findings from an independent investigation that he sexually harassed his employee, and “numerous….more than 10” acts of misconduct against subordinates. Despite this, the attorney general’s office, where Duncan was a top deputy until late last year, never investigated Antinoro until recently, when political pressure mounted against Laxalt. Instead of investigating the sheriff, both Laxalt and Duncan accepted and touted his endorsement.

Meanwhile Laxalt, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, still refuses to renounce Antinoro’s endorsement, claiming his office is investigating the sheriff’s conduct — even though serious questions have been raised on whether Laxalt’s office is actually investigating Antinoro. Both Laxalt and Duncan were scheduled to campaign with Antinoro in Storey County just over a month ago.

The Nevada Independent: AG candidate Duncan removes endorsement from embattled sheriff from website, won’t campaign with him
By Riley Snyder
July 6, 2018

After months of criticism from Democratic groups, Republican attorney general candidate Wes Duncan has quietly removed an endorsement from embattled Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro from his website.

Duncan’s campaign manager, John Vick, said in an email on Friday that the endorsement — listed in a 2017 press release announcing support for his candidacy from 15 county sheriffs — was removed sometime last month, and that Duncan would speak further on the issue once the attorney general’s office completed an investigation into multiple allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior from Antinoro

“We won’t be campaigning with him and do not want his endorsement,” he said in an email.

Nevada Democrats and supporting groups have run ads and bashed Antinoro’s endorsement of Duncan and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, in the midst of renewed attention toward the Storey County lawman’s behavior while in office. A county official estimated that at least 10 complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination had been filed against Antinoro since he took in office in 2010, plus a civil suit filed by a former deputy accusing the sheriff of sexual harassment and an ongoing investigation by the state ethics commission.

Antinoro admitted in a recent deposition to telling sexually explicit details of his personal life to his former chief deputy, including paying his ex-wife to have sex with other men while he watched and taking his ex-girlfriend to a swingers club in Las Vegas.

In an interview last month, Duncan said he found the allegations against Antinoro “troubling” but didn’t want to comment further until the attorney general’s office finished a separate investigation into the claims.

Antinoro has long feuded with the prominent Northern Nevada developers who own the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, one of whom requested Laxalt investigate the sexual harassment claims back in April. Laxalt — who still lists Antinoro’s endorsement on his website — said at a gubernatorial forum last month that he couldn’t comment on the issue until his office completed its investigation.

Antinoro was re-elected to another four-year term last month.