Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Resigns as Top GOP Finance Chairman - NBC Bay Area

Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Resigns as Top GOP Finance Chairman

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    Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Resigns as Top GOP Finance Chairman

    Las Vegas casino king Steve Wynn has resigned as the Republican National Committee finance chair.

    (Published Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018)

    Las Vegas casino king Steve Wynn has resigned as the Republican National Committee finance chair, the committee's chair confirmed to NBC News Saturday.

    Wynn has been a prolific Republican donor and led the RNC’s fundraising efforts during President Donald Trump’s first year.

    RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Saturday that she accepted Wynn’s resignation. The move comes as Wynn faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, which Wynn denied.

    The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a number of women said they were harassed or assaulted by Wynn, the chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts. One case led to a $7.5 million settlement with a manicurist. The detailed report relied on interviews with dozens of people who corroborate a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct with female employees.

    Wynn has denied the allegations.

    Wynn Resorts said it is committed to operating with the "highest ethical standards and maintaining a safe and respectful culture." In a statement sent to The Associated Press, it called the allegations part of a smear campaign related to divorce proceedings from Wynn's ex-wife.

    Wynn is the first CEO and founder of a major publicly held company to come under scrutiny since the Harvey Weinstein allegations surfaced.

    There appeared to be immediate business implications for the casino magnate. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Friday it is launching a review following the allegations published by the Journal. Spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said the commission's investigations and enforcement bureau will conduct a regulatory review to determine the appropriate next steps, adding "the suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance."

    Wynn is building a roughly $2.5 billion resort in the Boston suburb of Everett.

    In a lengthy statement, Wynn and his company both attributed the allegations to a campaign led by Wynn's ex-wife, Elaine Wynn.

    "The conduct of Elaine during the course of the pending lawsuits has been shocking and deeply disturbing to me personally and as the CEO of Wynn Resorts," Wynn said.

    Devon Spurgeon, a spokeswoman for Elaine Wynn, declined to comment on the allegations in the article or Steve Wynn's allegations responding to the article.

    In its reporting, The Wall Street Journal stated that none of the alleged victims reached out to the publication. Instead, the newspaper said it sought out more than 150 people who had worked for Wynn, many of whom did not want to go on record for fear of losing their jobs.

    The newspaper reported that Wynn's actions were well known enough that employees would sometimes enter fake appointments in the books to help other female workers avoid him. In some cases, female employees in the salon would hide in back rooms if they knew Wynn was on his way to the casino.

    Wynn Resorts Ltd. said there has never been a complaint made about Wynn to the company's independent hotline for reporting harassment.

    Wynn has been a prolific Republican donor, contributing more than $600,000 to GOP causes last year, according to the Federal Election Commission. Among his 2017 beneficiaries are Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada whose re-election campaign received almost $19,000 from Wynn and his wife last year.

    Heller, once a sharp critic of President Donald Trump, faces a difficult re-election fight this year in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton carried, but where Republican Danny Tarkanian is challenging him in the June primary. Heller campaign aides did not immediately return messages requesting comment on the contributions.

    Since 2013, Wynn has contributed nearly $2.4 million to GOP candidates and party organizations around the country, including 2017 special election winners as well as dozens of state Republican Party committees.

    In 2016, Wynn contributed $167,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and made individual donations totaling $5,400 each to Republican Senate campaigns of Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, Florida's Marco Rubio, South Carolina's Tim Scott, Texas' Ted Cruz and Wisconsin's Ron Johnson.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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