The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) is preparing for a long-awaited disciplinary hearing against former Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Steve Wynn on sexual harassment charges, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Tuesday. The hearing, to be held before the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC), will commence at a future date to be determined.
The GCB considers the upcoming hearing separate from a concluded matter in which Wynn Resorts was fined a record $20 million by the NGC in 2019. That was for failing to investigate claims of sexual misconduct made against its former CEO before his 2018 resignation. However, the hearing is still very much related to the claims themselves. Dozens of women came forward to accuse the hotel magnate of victimizing them, in shockingly unacceptable ways, for years.
Wynn has repeatedly asserted that he never harassed or sexually assaulted anyone. In addition, he has never been convicted of, or even tried for, any of these crimes.
Wynn’s Latest Loss
On Oct. 14, 2019, the GCB issued a five-count complaint calling for the hearing. It accused Wynn of violating state gaming regulations by failing “to exercise discretion and sound judgment to prevent incidents which might reflect on the repute of the state.”
Wynn’s attorney, Donald Campbell, argued before the NGC that it no longer had jurisdiction over Wynn because he resigned from his company in February 2018 and divested himself of his holdings in it a month later.
The sexual harassment complaint was never heard because Campbell successfully referred the matter to Clark County District Court, delaying settlement talks about the sexual harassment charges until the jurisdictional issue was decided.
At Clark County District Court in November 2020, Judge Adriana Escobar sided with Wynn. However, the GCB appealed the case to the Nevada Supreme Court. And, on March 31, 2022, the state’s highest court determined that Wynn could not appeal an NGC decision until after the matter was adjudicated in a hearing.
Worst Possible Timing
This latest bad news for Wynn comes less than a week after a Wynn Resorts massage therapist, who claims Wynn forced her to act as an “on-call sexual servant” while he was the company’s CEO, filed a second lawsuit against her employer.
Brenna Schrader’s suit alleged that Wynn Resorts continues to create a hostile work environment and retaliate against her for seeking justice against Wynn. (Schrader is also a plaintiff in an ongoing federal class action lawsuit filed in 2019 against Wynn and Wynn Resorts.)
According to the suit, filed Sept. 1 in Clark County District Court, Schrader “continues to endure hostile and retaliatory treatment, as well as conduct that is sexually hostile for female employees to this day.”
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