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.