Clark County Attorney Steve Wolfson takes lead on campaign finance

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has raised more money in 2021 than any other year he has been in office, with a list of donors that includes major Strip hotels, high-profile attorneys and a company linked to former casino manager Steve Wynn.

Wolfson raised $887,477 last year, bringing his total campaign fund to more than $1.2 million, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Nevada secretary of state’s office. Last year marked the most money Wolfson has raised since 2017, when he received $618,500 in contributions.

His opponent, former Nevada lawmaker Ozzie Fumo, said he has $28,498 in hand after raising more than $37,000 last year. Both are running as Democrats in the November elections.

Wolfson donors include 46 individuals and companies who have contributed $10,000, which is the maximum amount that can be donated in a single year. Included in the list is a limited liability company called “Sierra Charter”, which donated $10,000 in August.

Business records from the Secretary of State’s office show Wynn is listed as a director of a company named “Sierra Charter Title II, LLC,” which was incorporated on June 29. The company has since been dissolved.

Fumo declined to comment on campaign finance reports, but on Wednesday Wolfson confirmed that Wynn had donated to his campaign through the company.

“Mr. Wynn has been a friend for many, many years. He has been a supporter of my campaigns for many years,” Wolfson said in a phone interview.

Wynn resigned from his role at Wynn Resorts in 2018 and divested of all company stock after being accused of sexually assaulting multiple women and making unwanted sexual advances to female employees. He denied the charges.

Lawyers representing Wynn did not respond to a request for comment.

The Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts a record $20 million in February 2019 for failing to properly oversee and respond to complaints women made to the company.

Wynn did not face criminal charges related to the allegations.

Wolfson said Wednesday that his office never received any reports from a law enforcement agency regarding the charges and that the office was “not equipped” to conduct its own investigations.

“We never even got the chance to sue because nothing was ever provided to our office,” Wolfson said.

In February 2018, the Metropolitan Police Department announced that two women had filed complaints alleging Wynn sexually assaulted them. A Clark County district judge later ruled one of the complaints to be false and defamatory.

The Nevada Supreme Court in October 2020 sided with Wynn in its libel lawsuit against The Associated Press, which Wynn accused of publishing false statements in the suit with actual malice.

Wolfson was named district attorney in 2012 after David Roger retired with three years remaining in his tenure. A Wynn-related company has not donated to any of Wolfson’s campaigns since 2017, when Wynn Resorts donated $10,000 and Wynn Las Vegas donated $5,000.

Prior to that, Wynn Resorts donated $5,000 to Wolfson’s campaign in 2013.

Donors who contributed $10,000 to Wolfson’s campaign last year include a long list of casino and hotel owners – the South Point and its owner, Michael Gaughan; The Siegel Group, owner of Siegel Suites; The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Derek Stevens, owner of D Las Vegas and Circa; MGM Park and MGM Resorts International; New York, New York; station casinos; Resorts World Las Vegas and Red Rock Resort.

Other donors who contributed $10,000 to Wolfson’s campaign included Stephen Cloobeck, chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission; Las Vegas lobbyist Jay Brown; and criminal defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld. Chesnoff donated $10,000 to Wolfson in his own name and $10,000 through his company.

“I’ve known him all these years as a man of real intelligence and real professionalism,” Chesnoff said. “As a citizen, I support someone who has these qualities.”

Chesnoff and Schonfeld have represented numerous defendants in high-profile cases, including former Raiders player Henry Ruggs, former UNLV basketball rookie Zaon Collins, real estate broker Scott Gragson and tech billionaire Henry Nicholas III.

Fumo, meanwhile, contributed more than $10,000 to his own campaign, records show. His biggest donors are Las Vegas criminal defense attorney David Fischer, who donated $3,000, and apartment owner Doug DeMasi, who donated $2,000.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at [email protected] or 702-383-0240. To follow @k_newberg on Twitter.