Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, announced Monday that Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, has agreed to resign as chairman of the Transportation Committee in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
He said he asked for Manendo’s resignation from the chairmanship after his investigation into the allegations Manendo was guilty of improper conduct with a woman believed to be a lobbyist in the building.
Ford said in a statement that Manendo agreed to that move “pending completion of the investigation into complaints about his conduct.” Manendo will remain a member of the Senate.
Non-partisan Sen. Patricia Farley will replace Manendo as Transportation Chairman for the remaining two weeks of the 2017 Legislature.
Ford said once the investigation is completed, he would decide whether to reinstate Manendo at Transportation chairman or take some other action. He said he believes this action is in the best interests of the Senate so members can proceed to finish their business this session.
Under the constitution, each body of the Legislature controls who is a member of that body and can, in extreme circumstances, remove a member for misconduct.
Manendo has been accused of improper conduct with women in the past. There was an investigation into his conduct with an intern in 2003. Manendo lost his committee chairmanship that session but was not removed from the Assembly Because then-Speaker Richard Perkins said the result of that investigation was inconclusive.
Ford said he also has asked lawyers to review the Senate’s policies “to determine how we can improve the complaint process to ensure we have a responsive, efficient and effective manner in which to bring complaints and have complaints addressed.”