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May 25, 2015

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Sources: Unaware of being taped, Vermillion’s PR adviser says unkind things about her

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Steve Marcus

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak speaks at a news conference outside Metro Police Headquarters Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Sisolak said he has filed a criminal complaint against his former girlfriend and former Henderson Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion alleging that she tried to extort $3.9 million from him.

Vermillion Controversy

KSNV coverage of the interview with Kathleen Vermillion's daughter, Jan. 26, 2012.

Sisolak and Vermillion in 2008

Clark County Commission District A candidate Steve Sisolak talks with supporters with his then-girlfriend Kathleen Vermillion during a political mixer at the Pizza Caffe in Henderson Tuesday, October 14, 2008. Launch slideshow »
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Former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion

Kathy Vermillion’s public relations adviser described his client as scary, out of control and determined to destroy the reputation of her ex-boyfriend, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, according to persons who have heard a tape Sisolak secretly recorded of the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting, which was also attended by Vermillion’s attorney, Rob Martin, was to discuss Vermillion’s lawsuit against Sisolak, in which she alleged he had an “improper and secretive” relationship with her 15-year-old daughter and that Sisolak had violated her privacy by discussing the results of a drug test she took.

Sisolak and Vermillion had dated for five years before breaking up in October. Separate from the drama of her suing Sisolak, Vermillion is under scrutiny for her financial management of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, the charity she founded 12 years ago. She says she plans to cut her ties with the organization so it won’t be saddled with controversy.

Sisolak said the meeting on Sunday was tantamount to a shakedown because he was told if he paid $3.9 million, the lawsuit would be dropped. Vermillion has described the meeting as something of an informal settlement conference. The tape has been turned over to Metro Police investigators.

Mark Fierro, Vermillion’s public relations consultant, said Thursday his remarks on the tape about his client were taken out of context. He didn’t dispute the gist of the paraphrase but said it was in reference to her reputation being destroyed and how “nobody would be able to put her back together again.”

On the audiotape of that meeting, sources say, Fierro talked about how the lawsuit could destroy Sisolak’s political career and that some people would believe he was immoral and lecherous if videotaped remarks by Vermillion’s daughter ridiculing Sisolak were made public.

Fierro said Thursday he was not referring to the videotape but to the mere allegation, contained in the lawsuit, that Sisolak had been involved in an unseemly relationship with the teen.

In that video, shown to reporters Monday, the teenager talked of Sisolak taking her to Victoria’s Secret, taking her and a friend to buy bikinis while in San Diego, texting her late at night and seeing a movie with her, which the teen said felt like “a date.”

On Wednesday, the girl’s father said he talked to his daughter about the video and that she said she was coaxed into being videotaped and that the allegations against Sisolak were false. Vermillion countered that her daughter stood by her comments.

Fierro said Thursday that neither he, Martin, nor Vermillion coaxed nor coached the young woman.

If Vermillion’s lawsuit had legal merit, no one talked about it during the meeting, sources said. Instead, Martin was described as saying that if the case went to trial he would have a “difficult time” convincing a jury that Vermillion deserved anything.

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