An attorney for an ex-girlfriend of Nevada Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak warned the Republican nominee for governor, Adam Laxalt, to stop using the ex-girlfriend's now-recanted allegation that Sisolak behaved inappropriately toward her teenage daughter several years ago, the Nevada Independent reported.
The Independent obtained Thursday's letter penned by attorney Dominic Gentile apparently in response to a website run by the Laxalt campaign titled Shady Steve. The website says Sisolak's "long-time personal attorney, Laura Fitzsimmons ... helped make him rich in a lawsuit against taxpayers and helped him discredit a teenage girl who accused him of improper behavior." The site adds that Laxalt "turned around and gave [Fitzsimmons] an expensive government contract" for $300,000.
Gentile is representing Sisolak's ex-girlfriend Kathleen Vermillion, whom Gentile said recanted her allegations that Sisolak behaved inappropriately toward her daughter, the Independent said, and warned Laxalt not to bring up the allegtion without also noting their "untruth" — or face possible litigation.
The Laxalt campaign on Monday told TheBlaze it had not yet prepared a comment in regard to the letter.
What else does the letter to Laxalt say?
Gentile's letter to Laxalt also said Vermillion has been sober for three years after battling addictions and noted that any accusation by her concerning Sisolak behaving inappropriately with her daughter are “untrue and begotten by the demonic impact that her addiction had upon her ability to perceive reality at that time.”
“I was taking unimaginable amounts of prescription drugs and abusing alcohol — from the minute I woke up until the minute I went to bed — and had been for a long time,” according to Vermillion's account stated in Gentile's letter to Laxalt. “Now that I am sober, I realize how devastating and hurtful that accusation was.”
What did the Sisolak campaign have to say?
Sisolak campaign spokeswoman Christina Amestoy criticized Laxalt, saying it's "shameful" he "chose to go down a politically motivated path paved by false and disproven accusations that does nothing but harm a family trying to heal,” the Independent said.
What's the background?
More from the Independent:
Vermillion, a former Henderson city councilwoman, filed a civil suit against the county commissioner in January 2012 that in part accused him of carrying out “improper and secretive” relationships with Vermillion’s children including her teenage daughter after they broke off their five-year relationship in 2011. She also accused Sisolak of releasing her private medical records and making defamatory statements that hurt her reputation in the community.
Representatives for Vermillion met with Sisolak after the lawsuit had been filed but before it had been served to detail allegations of the improper relationship, including a heavily edited videotaped “deposition” of Vermillion’s daughter saying he was “grimy” and suggesting he was physically attracted to her.
Vermillion’s team asked Sisolak for $3.9 million in exchange for her silence about the allegations in what Sisolak described as a “shakedown.” Police later investigated the incident upon a request from Sisolak and issued a warrant for Vermillion on charges of extortion, but the district attorney’s office never pursued a case against her.
Vermillion voluntarily dropped her lawsuit in early February 2012, just a few weeks after filing it.
Concerning the video, a police report obtained by the Independent indicated Vermillion and others provided “some level of coaching” for her daughter’s answers, the paper said.
More from the Independent:
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department requested a warrant be issued against Vermillion in May 2012 on charges of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, following a police investigation into the matter.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, a Democrat, ultimately decided not to file criminal charges against Vermillion and others involved in the incident, owing to a “number of loopholes and available legal defenses,” according to a 2013 letter he wrote following the Metro investigation. But Wolfson said that it was his belief that false allegations were made in an attempt to obtain money from Sisolak, who he described as “clearly a victim.”
“After an entire review of the case file, two things were absolutely clear in my mind,” he wrote, according to the paper. “First, it was clear that false allegations were made against you for the purpose of obtaining money from you and, second, it was also clear that the daughter of Ms. Vermillion stated she had been coerced into making false insinuations against you, which could be characterized as unfair and untrue.”