Laxalt campaign’s “Shady Steve” website prompts plea from Sisolak’s former girlfriend

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Former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion. Photo credit: Facebook

UPDATE July 13: Kathleen Vermillion told the Current that her attorney, Dominic Gentile, sent a similar letter several months ago to Steve Sisolak’s primary opponent, Chris Giunchigliani, as a precautionary measure.  Vermillion says Gentile declined to send a preemptive letter to Laxalt and was moved to action by the campaign website attacking Sisolak.  Gentile would neither confirm nor deny and declined to comment.  

Vermillion says about a month ago she was visited by a private investigator who refused to identify her client.

“When I showed her Chris’s letter she said her client wished me well and told her to leave us alone,” Vermillion said in a text message. “I have no idea who it was.  But they paid for her to come to San Diego and go to New York to see Aurora (Vermillion’s daughter).”

For some context here are parts one and two of exclusive interviews I did with Vermillion in 2012, after her hospitalization from a drug overdose.

Attorney Dominic Gentile is appealing to gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s sense of decency and threatening possible legal action regarding Laxalt resurrecting allegations made years ago against opponent Steve Sisolak by his former girlfriend’s daughter.

On a Laxalt campaign website, ShadySteve.com, the campaign mentions a “female teenager who accused Steve of ‘acting improperly.’ The teenager is the daughter of Sisolak’s former girlfriend, Kathleen Vermillion.

Vermillion was a Henderson City Councilwoman during her break up with Sisolak, which devolved into secretly recorded conversations, allegations of bribery, and potentially most damaging of all, allegations in a lawsuit of inappropriate behavior and a tape-recorded statement from Vermillion’s daughter calling Sisolak “creepy.”

In the July 11 letter, Gentile writes: 

The statements that you are making about her daughter give rise to concerns as to the impact upon Kathleen’s efforts to regain physical, mental and moral well-being that any public reference you or your campaign make to that former relationship might have, particularly with respect to her daughter.

You have been open and candid about your history of substance abuse and addiction and your thus far successful efforts at recovery. Therefore, you are aware of how easily a setback can occur and what a struggle it can be to stay sober. What you may not be aware of is that from 2010 to 2015 Kathleen was a poly-substance abuser and addict. Since that time, she has turned to a Higher Power and has now been sober for three years. Through difficult personal and spiritual effort, she has reached step Nine in her Twelve-Step program. I know that you realize what that means and are aware that to reach her goal she must make amends to those whom she has harmed by past wrongs performed while in the depths of her addiction. It is a long list of victims for which only she possesses the roster. For present purposes it is sufficient for her to acknowledge Steve Sisolak was prominent among them. …

Simply stated, any accusations that Kathleen made as to Commissioner Sisolak behaving inappropriately toward her daughter were untrue and begotten by the demonic impact that her addiction had upon her ability to perceive reality at that time.

In her own words, excerpted from a narrative in my possession which she prepared in pursuit of fulfilling her Ninth step in an effort to make amends with both Steve Sisolak and her daughter: ‘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…Now that I am sober, I realize how devastating and hurtful that accusation was…

I also advised her that by coming forward as to the falsity of the accusations she made, any use of them by you or on your behalf, without also simultaneously revealing their untruth, could be actionable by her if it caused severe emotional distress resulting in mental or physical damage to her, such as relapse into addiction.

The Current reached out to Laxalt’s campaign but did not get a response. 

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

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