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November 27, 2015

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Veterans group turns to Vermillion to help with council endorsement

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Former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion

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Kathleen Vermillion

A political group for military veterans has enlisted embattled former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion to help decide whom the group should endorse for Las Vegas City Council.

Vermillion is a "special guest panel member" on a forum staged this Saturday by Veterans in Politics International, which will interview seven candidates during the event. Her scheduled appearance comes after she resigned from the Henderson City Council last year, was fired by her board from her job as head of the Nevada Partnership For Homeless Youth in January, and became the subject of an investigation by the FBI.

In 2009, Vermillion gave $2,000 from her council discretionary spending account, to Veterans in Politics. Council members can spend those taxpayer dollars in almost any way they see fit. Typically, the money is given to charities or to help organizations with basic necessities. Also in 2009, Vermillion gave $3,000 to her own charity, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.

Steve Sanson, Veterans in Politics International president, said Vermillion "is smart, she knows the issues."

"She knows what to look for, and she'll do a good job to ask the necessary questions," he said Tuesday.

Asked if he was worried that her inclusion might taint the panel's endorsement, Sanson didn't think so.

"I had Mike McDonald on the Las Vegas city panel last year," which interviewed candidates for the mayor's seat, Sanson said. McDonald is a former Las Vegas councilman investigated on ethics complaints and tax fraud allegations but never charged with any crime. He is now being considered a front-runner to be named chairman of the Nevada Republican Party.

Sanson said Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross, who retained his position after a recall election attempt earlier this year, will moderate the interviews. Ross had nothing to do with choosing Vermillion to sit on the panel, Sanson added.

The interviews will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Leisure Services Center, 101 N. Pavilion Center Drive.

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