Nevada’s legislative leaders are accepting the resignation of Democratic Senator Mark Manendo as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Manendo’s resignation comes as more individuals are stepping forward claiming he sexually harassed them this legislative session.
The longtime lawmaker has been under an independent investigation for harassment since allegations sprang forward about two weeks ago.
This is also the third time the Las Vegas Democrat has been accused of misconduct. However, through an attorney, Manendo has maintained his innocence.
Speaking on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford called Manendo’s decision to step down as committee chairman to be – quote – “in the best interest of the body.”
In the meantime, Ford has named Patricia Farley, an independent Senator from Las Vegas, the Chair of Transportation for the rest of the session.
Shortly after announcing Manendo's committee resignation, Majority Leader Ford issued this statement:
“Today, after consulting with Senator Mark Manendo, he and I agreed that he should resign his position as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation, pending completion of the investigation into complaints about his conduct. It is important to know that we take allegations of misconduct seriously, and we continue to be committed to conducting a thorough, fair investigation free from any concerns regarding intimidation, retaliation, or bias.
Because the investigation is ongoing, I want to make it clear that I am not passing judgment at this time. No final findings have been provided or conclusions reached. While I had hoped the investigation could be completed by now, more allegations have been brought forward since commencing the investigation that require more time to complete the inquiry. Once the investigator provides final findings, I will determine whether to reinstate Senator Manendo as Chair and whether any other action is necessary.
Additionally, I have asked our attorneys to review the policies of the Senate to determine how we can improve the complaint process to ensure we have a responsive, efficient and effective manner in which to bring complaints and have complaints addressed. To the greatest extent possible, the Senate must be able to carry out its business free of these kinds of issues so that we can focus on what we came here to do, which is to make the best policies and laws for the State of Nevada.”