LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3.com) -- One day after getting hit with charges of fraud, former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion is striking back. Vermillion is suing Clark County—specifically, Commissioner Steve Sisolak for negligence.
The story began to unfold when Vermillion was hit with a complaint filed with the Attorney General. News 3's Mackenzie Warren broke the story and is looking into the giant web of accusations. The backdrop to this is a relationship that fell apart; Vermillion and Commissioner Sisolak are ex-lovers. Sisolak is also a large donor to Vermillion's charity, the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.
In the suit, Vermillion says Sisolak negligently revealed the results of her failed drug test in order to put her charity and its finances under the microscope. But Sisolak tells me that accusation simply isn't true.
“It makes me sad. It really makes me sad that the charity is placed in this position,” says Sisolak who is the center of a suit filed by Vermillion, in which she accuses Sisolak of disseminating results of a drug test where she tested positive for methadone.
“I don’t have her health records. I don’t know where her health records came from, who gave them to whom,” said Sisolak.
“So, I couldn’t have breached it. I don’t have them.” Vermillion’s suit says she tested positive because Sisolak’s sister gave her a “synthetic opiate” to treat a migraine. Sisolak tells News Three his sister never did that.
Interim District Attorney, Mary Ann Miller, says she's perplexed as to why Vermillion would even file such a claim.“It’s clear there has been no violation of state law, federal, or any duty by either Commissioner Sisolak or the county. So, it’s frivolous on its face,” Miller says.
The county also backs and issued this statement:
“The complaint is frivolous on its face, completely without merit, and is of questionable motivation since it acknowledges that people other than the defendants actually disseminated the information in question before it reached the County.”
In Vermillion's complaint, Arash Ghafoori, not Sisolak is the one named who leaked the test results. Ghafoori is the interim executive director of the NPHY and the one who filed a complaint with the Attorney General against Vermillion accusing her of fraud.
“We are in the process of hiring a private auditor to really review line-by-line our agency’s finances over the past couple of years,” says Colin Seale. Seale is the current chair of the NPHY and says the organization is committed to getting to the bottom of accusations. In the complaint, Ghafoori says Vermillion used the charity like an ATM.
He alleges she transferred money from the charity to her own Homeless Youth Foundation, which she used to pay her salary and expenses.
Ghafoori says Vermillion stuck the charity with a $51,000 bill which included a five night stay for an organization retreat at a San Diego hotel. Ghafoori says Vermillion stayed in the presidential suite.
Vermillion strongly denies charges of fraud and any improper conduct.
News three asked Seale how the board would allow such a trip to happen in the first place. “We are open to critique,” Seale answered. “It could be a fair critique to look at that money and say, ‘wait. That's way too much to spend on any vacation of any sort.’ That's definitely a fair critique but I’m not even really sure that was actually spent.”
The Attorney General is working through the complaint against Vermillion, as is the county on the suit filed by the former councilwoman. Sisolak says the suit holds no truth. “I don’t know of anything as it relates to drug tests or a misappropriation of funds.”