LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Senator Mark Manendo resigned over harassment allegations.
On Wednesday, the Nevada Senate Democrats released the following statement regarding the resignation of Senator Manendo from the Nevada State Senate. Senator Manendo agreed to resign from the Senate after the conclusion of an independent investigation of the allegations.
Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford ordered the investigation during the 2017 legislative session after complaints against Senator Manendo were brought to his attention on April 17. On May 1, the law firm of Van Dermyden Maddux began its investigation. The firm concluded its investigation on July 13 after completing interviews with 58 people, including Senator Manendo.
The investigator concluded that Senator Manendo violated the Legislature’s anti-harrassament policy; had engaged in multiple and repeated instances of inappropriate, offensive, and unacceptable behavior towards female staffers and lobbyists; and had attempted to interfere with the subsequent investigation into his conduct.
The findings cited at least 14 incidents of inappropriate conduct during the 2017 legislative session, as well as instances of misconduct from prior sessions. The investigator concluded that these allegations were credible and established a patter of Senator Manendo creating an environment that interfered with the work performance of female lobbyists, visitors, and employees of the Legislature. The investigator also found Senator Manendo’s behavior constituted repeated violations of the Legislature’s anti-harassment policy and that his unacceptable actions ranged from sexual comments and advances to aggressive, confrontational, and harrassing conduct.
The investigator also concluded that Senator Manendo purposely acted to interfere with and undermine the investigative process, despite being warned not to do so. Specifically, the investigator concluded that Senator Manendo contacted a witness and pressured her to withdraw her previous statements and fabricate a different version of events. The investigator further concluded that Senator Manendo attempted to learn the name of a person who brough additional allegations against him.
Such behavior is not tolerable in any context, let alone by an elected member of the Nevada Senate. It’s in the best interests of the institutions of the State Senate and the Nevada Legislature that Senator Manendo resign from office.
In order to maintain the privacy and confidentiality promised to the victims and witnesses who spoke to the independent investigator, the investigative report will not be made public.