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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Officials’ Busted Romance Ends in Court

LAS VEGAS (CN) - A former Henderson city councilwoman claims her "on and off" boyfriend, a Clark County commissioner, cost her youth charity grant money when he revealed to other elected officials the results of her positive drug test.

Kathleen Vermillion sued Clark County and Commissioner Steve Sisolak, in Clark County Court.

Henderson (pop. 258,000) is a booming suburb of Las Vegas.

Vermillion founded the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth in 2000, and won a seat on the Henderson City Council in 2009.

She quietly resigned last December, halfway through her term, and said it was to concentrate on her children and her charity.

Vermillion says that while she was preoccupied with her City Council duties, she turned over much of the daily operations of the charity to executive director Arash Ghafoori, who is not a party to the case.

When questions arose about the organization's finances, she and Ghafoori agreed to take a drug test, according to the complaint.

Vermillion's result "was positive for a synthetic opiate compound," which she says came from a pain pill she got from Sisolak's sister, to treat a migraine.

Vermillion claims Sisolak, who was elected to the Clark County Commission in 2009, revealed the results "to multiple individuals at the Clark County government offices" a few months after he broke it off with her.

When a grant for her charity was up for approval before the commission, it was tabled "as a result of the disclosure of Ms. Vermillion's drug test results," the complaint states.

Sisolak is divorced, according to his official website.

Vermillion mentioned her children, but not a husband, in a local publication announcing her resignation from office.

According to the lawsuit, Sisolak ended their relationship in October.

Vermillion represented a large patch of northern Henderson.

Sisolak represents a large swath of unincorporated Clark County in the southern end of the Las Vegas Valley, abutting Henderson.

Vermillion seeks compensatory, consequential and special damages for negligence, defamation and invasion of privacy.

She is represented by Robert Martin with Martin & Allison Ltd.

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