Storey County sheriff recall vote fails
April 11, 2017
Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro survived a recall effort Tuesday night during a special election.
The final vote total was 883 against recall and 601 in favor.
First elected in 2010, Antinoro had been accused of budget improprieties, an election ethics violation, sexually harassing a deputy and wrongfully terminating another. He has said he was targeted for ouster because his officers ticket speeders at the industrial park and have cracked down on worker-registration requirements at the brothel.
Antinoro said prior to the vote, he's the victim of a vendetta led by a county commissioner who owns the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel and oversees the industrial park.
Commissioner Lance Gilman denies the allegation. But the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Gilman's Tahoe Reno Industrial Center has spent $142,000 on a campaign to oust the sheriff.
A group of women in the Comstock-era mining town of Virginia City filed the formal notice with the Nevada secretary of state in November seeking a special recall election.
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The group was represented by Kris Thompson, the project manager for the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, which is home to high-profile companies including the "gigafactory" that manufactures Tesla's electric car batteries.
Antinoro said his department has had run-ins with the brothel over work cards and licensing. In 2009, commissioners voted to mandate that anyone with any financial interest in a brothel must be licensed.
"They scream every time we revoke a work card for something … or if we go there and do an inspection," he said.
Gilman said his brothel has no violation issues and that everyone working at the brothel — prostitutes, housekeepers, cooks and bartenders — must obtain work cards.
Thompson said deputies have issued a "huge number of tickets" at roads near the industrial park, where most workers commute from the Reno metro area.
Antinoro said traffic enforcement has nothing to do with the park. He said the sheriff's department has received calls from businesses concerned over employee safety.
"They're not being singled out," he said. "They're not being picked on."