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Embattled Storey County sheriff backs out of attending political barbecue this weekend
By
Michelle Rindels
Riley Snyder
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, right, who's running for governor, speaks while Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) looks on during a political rally in Las Vegas on Friday, April 20, 2018. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

UPDATE — 5/31/18 at 3:00 p.m.:

Embattled Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro won’t be attending a Virginia City-area barbecue this weekend that will corral top Republicans running for statewide offices, the event host, Breck Greninger, confirmed Thursday.

Antinoro, who’s the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit, decided against attending when the event ballooned into one featuring statewide candidates as opposed to just local people seeking office, Greninger said.

“It just got too big,” she said.

Greninger said everything else will continue as planned.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The top Nevada Republicans running in statewide races will all convene for a barbecue in the Virginia City area this weekend, along with a Storey County sheriff who is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit and has been listed as the emcee of the event.

Event host Breck Greninger told The Nevada Independent she’s confirmed that Sen. Dean Heller, governor candidate Adam Laxalt, lieutenant governor hopeful Michael Roberson and attorney general candidate Wes Duncan will all attend the potluck at her home in the Virginia City Highlands on Saturday. Greninger is active in Storey County Republican politics, served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016 and runs a kettle corn shop in Virginia City.

“This gives a chance for the Storey County — which is a rural county — to get to know the candidates and make their decisions,” she said.

She’s hosted similar events in the past, including an event featuring congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian and gubernatorial candidate Dan Schwartz last October.

Greninger said she’s aware that accusations of sexual misconduct were made against Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro and acknowledged that it has cast a “dark cloud” over the county, but she said that he’s trusted by people who know him, that he was there for her when her husband recently passed away and that he’s a good sheriff. She also says she has met and has nothing against Antinoro’s opponent in the sheriff’s race, Mike Cullen.

In a deposition related to a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Antinoro by one of his former deputies, Storey County administrator Austin Osbourne said more than 10 complaints of sexual harassment, wrongful termination or discrimination have been filed against the sheriff since he took office in 2010.

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

Antinoro has endorsed both Laxalt and Duncan. Democrats have pummelled the two for not commenting on the sexual abuse and harassment claims against Antinoro, and the Democratic-aligned Super PAC American Bridge has published digital ads tying the two candidates to the sheriff.

Duncan’s campaign deleted a tweeted picture showing he and Antinoro meeting in April.

In a Republican gubernatorial candidate forum aired Tuesday night on KLAS, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, Laxalt declined to “renounce” or otherwise criticize Antinoro, saying that his office had received complaints about Antinoro and that he didn’t want to weigh in on the case — which he characterized as a “political battering ram” — before the investigation concluded.

“I’m not going to do or say anything until that investigation is complete,” he said. “I think if I were to come out and unendorse or endorse at this stage of the game it would predict or pre-judge the investigation.”

Laxalt had originally listed the stop on a list of 28 campaign stops he planned to make ahead of the state’s June 12 primary election, but the event has been deleted from the list of events on his EventBrite page. Campaign spokesman Andy Matthews said that’s because Laxalt isn’t a host and didn’t want to market the barbecue as his own.

Matthews also said that because Laxalt’s not hosting, he doesn’t know for sure who is attending.

Updated at 8:30 a.m. on May 31 to add that Antinoro has been listed as the event’s emcee.

INDY FAST FACTS Danny Tarkanian Job: Businessman Party: Republican In current office: None Birthdate: Dec. 18, 1961 Education: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (B.A.) University of San Diego (J.D.) Other public offices held: None Total Donations: $3,443,619 (8/18/04-5/23/18) Top Donors: Danny Tarkanian $528,440 Stations Casino $74,550 Las Vegas Sands Corp $38,900 Domain.com $26,600 Maloof family $18,000
INDY FAST FACTS Wes Duncan Job: Attorney-Hutchison & Steffen Party: Republican In current office: None Birthdate: December 26, 1980 Education:  Columbia College (A.A.) University of California Berkeley (B.A.) Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law (J.D.) Other public offices held: Assemblyman, District 37 (2012-2014) Total donations: $1,346,156 (11/6/11-6/6/18) Top donors: Las Vegas Sands Corp. $40,000 Station Casinos/Zuffa $24,000 Keystone Corporation $22,500 Republican Assembly Victory Fund & Leaders Caucus $20,000 Starpoint Resort Inc.  $20,000
INDY FAST FACTS Michael Roberson Job: State senate minority leader Party: Republican In current office: 2010-present Senate Republican leader since 2015 Birthdate: June 20, 1970 Education: University of Kansas (B.S.) University of Kansas School of Law (J.D.) Other public offices held: None Total donations: $1,888,972 (5/28/10-5/25/17) Top donors: Las Vegas Sands $55,000 Station Casinos/Zuffa $47,500 Boyd Gaming $35,000 MGM Resorts International $25,000 Wynn Resorts $22,000
INDY FAST FACTS Dan Schwartz Job: State treasurer Party: Republican In current office: 2015-present Birthdate: July 28, 1950 Education: Princeton University (B.A.) Columbia University (M.B.A.) Boston University (J.D.) Other public offices held: None Total donations: $1,297,546 (9/16/13-5/30/18) Top donors: Dan Schwartz $1,000,353 Pritzker (Anthony, Karen, Jenny) $20,603 Schwartz (Stephen, Yanan, Dana) $15,000
INDY FAST FACTS Dean Heller Job: U.S. Senator Party: Republican In current office: 2011-present Birthdate: May 10, 1960 Education: University of Southern California (B.A.) Other public offices held: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Nevada's 2nd Congressional District (2007-2011) Nevada Secretary of State (1995-2007) State Assemblyman (1990-1994) Total donations: $21,463,574 (2005-2018) Top donors: Station Casinos $117,900 Votesane PAC $92,000 MGM Resorts International $74,500 Blackstone Group $48,400 Capital Group $38,800 Credit: Center for Responsive Politics
INDY FAST FACTS Adam Laxalt Job: Nevada State Attorney General Party: Republican In current office: 2015-present Birthdate: August 31, 1978 Education: Georgetown University (B.A.) Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.) Other public offices held: None Total donations: $8,262,050 (1/08/14 - 6/07/18) Top donors: Station Casinos/Zuffa/Fertitta $208,500 Las Vegas Sands $75,000 Marnell Properties LLC $42,500 Starpoint Resort Group/Partners $40,000 MGM Resorts $35,000
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