An attorney representing the Northern Nevada developer who requested that Republican attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt open an investigation into Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro is now blasting the attorney general’s investigation as incomplete and unbalanced.
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.
After completing the probe, Laxalt 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. This comes after Laxalt had refused for weeks to answer questions about Antinoro’s endorsement of his campaign — even walking away from a voter who tried to talk to him, dismissed criticism as “political theatrics,” and was even scheduled to campaign with Antinoro while his office was investigating him.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“It’s painfully obvious that Adam Laxalt’s investigation was conducted with the sole objective of covering his own hide, not of seeking justice for Sheriff Antinoro’s many victims. Laxalt owes Nevada women a thorough and complete investigation into the extensive allegations of predatory behavior against his political ally, whom he continued to protect as more and more details of Antinoro’s abuse against women became public.”
The Nevada Independent: Attorney for developers pans AG report into claims of sexual misconduct by rural sheriff
By Riley Snyder
July 11, 2018
- A four-month investigation by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office into sexual harassment allegations by a rural sheriff was “far from complete, comprehensive and balanced,” according to an attorney for the pair of developers who requested the initial investigation.
- Just a day after Laxalt’s office released a five-page investigative report stating it would not pursue criminal charges against Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, Joey Gilbert — the attorney for Northern Nevada developers Don Roger Norman and Lance Gilman — said in a response letter that the report was “one-sided and read like a brief from an attorney defending Antinoro.”
- “My question, with respect, is this: Can your office do anything, anything at all, to hold Antinoro accountable?” Gilbert wrote in the letter. “The brave female deputies and the victims mentioned in this letter who have come forward and spoken up need your support.”
- Antinoro, who was re-elected to another four-year term in June, has faced around 10 sexual harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination claims since first taking office in 2010. He’s currently facing a civil suit from a former undersheriff, Melanie Keener.
- But Gilbert wrote in the letter that the office had failed to speak with two victims of purported rape, two alleged victims of sexual harassment including Keener and members of the sheriff’s office — including Antinoro himself.
- He said an investigator with his office was able to identify and interview a woman who had accused Antinoro of setting up a “gang rape” of her in 2015, and questioned why the office hadn’t been able to contact her, given his office and an attorney for Keener had been able to identify and speak with her.
- “We would hope that if my private office and investigator with limited resources and Ms. Keener’s attorney could find and speak with this victim, that your office, with all the vast resources and legal authority at your fingertips, could also talk to the victim,” he wrote.
- The letter also brushed away some of the suggestions that the attorney general’s office put forth as potential remedies for the situation, saying that going to Storey County itself was not a “viable option when the entire criminal investigative apparatus of the County is supervised by the perpetrator who is the senior law enforcement officer in the County.”
- The issue is also fraught with political tension for Laxalt, a Republican who is running for governor and had been endorsed by Antinoro last year.