Senate Republicans Call for Full Senate Hearing on Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Senator Mark Manendo

(Carson City, NV) –  Today, Senate Republicans called for full transparency and immediate, preventive measures due to the recent sexual harassment allegations against Senator Mark Manendo (D-21).

With multiple reports against Senator Manendo spanning decades, including in 2003, 2009 and 2017, Senate Republicans call on Senate Majority Leader Ford to: (a) release any and all complaints made against Senator Manendo (with the names of the alleged victims redacted); (b) immediately remove Senator Manendo from his committee assignments; and (c) begin full Senate hearings to investigate these very serious allegations.

“For decades, allegations against Senator Manendo have been made and have been swept under the rug by those in charge,” said Senate Republican Leader Michael Roberson.  “Senate Republicans are now demanding that Senator Ford release any and all complaints made against Senator Manendo, with all identifying information withheld to protect the alleged victims.”

“Many times, sexual harassment occurs in a workplace when a person holding a position of power leverages that influence against a subordinate.  The recent allegations add to a long history of purported sexual misconduct.  Enough is enough. Senator Ford should immediately remove Senator Manendo as chairman of Transportation and as a member of Government Affairs and Natural Resources,” said Senator Heidi Gansert.

“An unaccountable, private investigation into these very serious allegations concerning Senator Manendo is not the correct route to ensure a fair, honest, and full hearing to determine the validity of these allegations. Senator Manendo should be judged by his peers and this should happen immediately.  Under Article 4 of the Nevada Constitution, the Senate may meet to ‘consider the character’ and ‘alleged misconduct’ of a member, and if disorderly conduct is determined, we can expel with two thirds members voting.  This matter is of the utmost importance, it is the duty of the Senate to ascertain the fitness of our members, it should be a determination of the entire State Senate – not just one member,” said Senator Becky Harris.

 

Background:

2004: “Perkins said he didn’t take action on the report because it found no concrete answers on whether Manendo made comments to several legislative interns. Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, conducted the investigation.

“In essence, he reported back to me that he wasn’t able to find any conclusive evidence that anything happened,” Perkins said. “It seemed more like folks just felt uncomfortable.”

Perkins said he and Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, had conversations with Manendo about making women feel uncomfortable.”

 

2004: “A complaint was lodged in 2003 by an intern from UNR against Assemblyman Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas. The leadership of the Legislature said it conducted an investigation, but there was never any public report regarding what that investigation found.”

 

2010:  “Manendo’s legislative career has been hampered by allegations of inappropriate comments and sexual harassment of young female lobbyists and state employees in Carson City. In 2003, following allegations of sexual harassment against two legislative interns, he was stripped of a powerful committee chairmanship. He never regained that position or any other leadership post.

 

His reputation in the state capital is far different. Interviews with lobbyists, lawmakers and staff point to a pattern of inappropriate behavior toward females in junior positions.

“Every session there has been some type of incident with sexual harassment that leadership has to talk to him about,” said one senior Democrat, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The problem is that no one is willing to take the next step and file a formal complaint.”

During the 2009 Legislature, Manendo was privately reprimanded by Democratic leadership for a comment he made to a state worker.

 

The worker declined to comment for this story, fearing repercussions if Manendo returns to Carson City in the Senate. But according to a number of sources with knowledge of the incident, Manendo told the woman in vulgar terms that he found sexual gratification in viewing photos of her.”

 

###