U.S. NEWS

Execs At Steve Wynn's Resorts Ignored Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Him: Complaint

Female employees accused Wynn of behavior ranging from lewd comments and inappropriate touching to coercing sex acts.

Executives at Wynn Resorts Ltd. knew about allegations of sexual harassment and assault against former CEO Steve Wynn for over a decade but largely ignored them, according to a new regulator’s complaint.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board filed the complaint on Jan. 25 in conjunction with a settlement proposal between the board and Wynn Resorts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

As a part of the proposed settlement, Wynn Resorts agreed to pay a fine, and the board said the company could maintain its licenses to operate casinos in Las Vegas. The Nevada Gaming Commission, which oversees the Gaming Control Board, will decide whether to approve the settlement and would also be in charge of determining the amount of the fine.

The complaint says the following executives ignored employees’ complaints about Wynn: Marc Schorr, former president and chief operating officer; Doreen Whennen, former vice president of hotel operations; and Arte Nathan, the former human resources director, who had already left the company at the time of the Journal’s original reporting on the allegations last year.

The complaint also named Stacie Michaels and Kevin Tourek, former general counsels at the Las Vegas establishments, as well as former Wynn Resorts general counsel Kim Sinatra and former Wynn Las Vegas president Maurice Wooden.

In a statement on Monday provided to HuffPost, Wynn Resorts said it had “undergone an extensive self-­examination” in the year since the Journal first reported on Wynn’s alleged pattern of sexual harassment and abuse toward workers at his casinos.

“Upon learning of the extent of the allegations, the new leadership of Wynn Resorts took immediate actions to ensure an open and safe work environment for all employees and made dramatic changes at every level of key decision-making in the Company,” Wynn Resorts said in its statement. “As an example, any employee mentioned in the NGCB report who was aware of allegations of sexual assault against the company’s former chairman and did not investigate or report it is no longer with the company.”

Nevada gaming employees have the right “to work in a safe environment,” Sandra Douglass Morgan, chairwoman of the Gaming Control Board, said in a statement to HuffPost. 

“Nevada gaming licensees must be held accountable for improper conduct and harassment of any kind,” Douglass Morgan said. She also said she believed Wynn Las Vegas had “made significant changes at its leadership and management levels.” 

The allegations against Wynn ranged from lewd comments and inappropriate touching to coercing sex acts from women who worked as manicurists and massage therapists at Wynn’s Las Vegas casinos. He was also accused in a police report filed shortly after the Journal exposé of raping and impregnating a woman in the 1970s. Wynn has denied the allegations.

Monday’s complaint and proposed settlement mark the first time the company has publicly acknowledged high-level executives’ failure to respond to the claims, and the first time Wynn Resorts has faced regulatory action in regard to the allegations.

The complaint also uncovered some new information, based on interviews with current and former employees, including that Wynn paid $975,000 in a 2006 settlement with a former cocktail server who said he “pressured her into a nonconsensual sexual relationship” with him.

Wynn resigned as the CEO and chairman of the board of Wynn Resorts in February 2018. He also stepped down as finance chair for the Republican National Committee.

The casino mogul was a prominent supporter of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, donating roughly $833,000 to Republican funds, according to Forbes. The RNC last year said it would not be returning Wynn’s money.

A spokesman for the RNC did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Read the complaint against Wynn Resorts below.

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