Las Vegas Sun
Published Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 | 8:55 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 | 8:56 a.m.
Embattled Assemblywoman Michele Fiore has been ousted from her two positions in the legislative hierarchy.
Assembly Speaker Designate John Hambrick announced the decision this morning and blamed Fiore’s troubles with the Internal Revenue Service as the reason for removing her as majority leader and chairwoman of the Assembly Taxation Committee.
Assemblyman Paul Anderson will replace Fiore as majority leader, and Assemblyman Derek Armstrong will replace her on the taxation committee.
Hambrick’s decision appears to be a final attempt at quelling the ongoing dysfunction in the Assembly Republican Caucus that’s dominated the legislative conversation since Nov. 4.
Two weeks ago, it was uncovered that Fiore faced more than $1 million in tax liens.
She waited until Tuesday to publicly address the issue. She went on a conservative radio program and blamed bookkeepers and a former employee for her tax troubles.
In a news release, Hambrick said Fiore’s explanation for her tax troubles was full of “deflections and slanderous allegations.”
“Michele’s actions have brought undue negativity and disharmony to our caucus,” Hambrick said.
Hambrick briefly removed Fiore from the taxation committee last week.
Fiore followed that by saying there was a war on women in the Assembly Republican Caucus, even though she was the first Republican woman elected majority leader.
Hambrick reinstated Fiore as chairwoman of the taxation committee, but he said today that her leadership roles were causing too many divisions among Republicans.
Fiore’s leadership fracas was the latest in what’s been a trying seven weeks for Republicans since the Nov. 4 elections.
Republicans, including Fiore, pledged harmony after they won control of the Legislature. But GOP members in the Assembly have showed signs of anything but in the last two months.
Before Hambrick came to power, Assemblyman Ira Hansen was the speaker designate and drew headlines for writing racially insensitive columns in the Sparks Tribune. Gov. Brian Sandoval, a figure of stability and promise for Republicans, asked Hansen to step down after a week of turmoil.
That forced the Assembly Republican Caucus to vote again for new leaders. Hambrick was chosen as speaker and Fiore as majority leader.