Ethics panel rules against Storey County sheriff |

Ethics panel rules against Storey County sheriff

Cy Ryan
Special to the Nevada Appeal

A three-member panel of the Nevada Ethics Commission has ruled there’s “sufficient credible evidence” Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro misused his office in supporting his wife’s child welfare case.

But the panel said it has reached an agreement with the controversial sheriff to take “corrective” action rather than sending the case to the full commission for possible discipline.

Earlier this month the state Attorney General’s Office said there was no evidence to file criminal charges of sexual misconduct against Antinoro.

A request for an ethic’s opinion was filed in 2017 questioning the conduct of the sheriff in the child welfare case. The individual, who wasn’t identified, alleged Antinoro used his government position to further the interest of a private person. Details weren’t spelled out in the decision.

But the panel said the “facts establish credible evidence to substantiate just and sufficient cause for the commission to render an opinion” on the question whether Antinoro used “government time, property, equipment or other facility to benefit a significant personal or pecuniary interest as alleged in the opinion request.”

It said there was also evidence “that related to Antinoro’s use of the Sheriff’s Office for his spouse’s child visitation appointment.”

In a separate opinion, the panel cleared Deputy Sheriff Frank Valdes of misconduct charges he helped to further the interests of the sheriff.

Under the agreement the panel said the sheriff must comply with the ethics law for one year without being subject to another violation that’s found to be justified. He must complete an ethics training course and he must consult with the Storey County DA on the proper procedures to be followed in separating his personal and government responsibilities.

Antinoro won re-election last month in the primary election. He had earlier survived a recall election.

The panel decision was signed by Commissioners Barbara Gruenewald, Amanda Yen and Lynn Stewart.