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Vermillion hospitalized after suicide attempt, sources say

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 | 3:10 p.m.

Vermillion Speaks

Former Henderson City Councilperson Kathleen Vermillion's personal and financial dealings are drawing scrutiny in southern Nevada. Meanwhile, Vermillion alleges in a civil lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court that she was defamed by her former boyfriend, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.

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Kathleen Vermillion

Sources say Kathleen Vermillion’s 15-year-old daughter saved her life after finding her in medical distress about midnight Friday and calling 911 for help.

Vermillion, an ex-Henderson City Council member who is being investigated by the FBI and who lost her job as the head of a charity she founded 10 years ago, appeared to have attempted suicide with an overdose of pills, sources said.

She was transferred to a local hospital and is under observation.

“Her daughter saved her life,” a source close to the family said.

In late January, Vermillion filed a lawsuit against Clark County and her ex-boyfriend, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.

Vermillion charged information had been released about a drug test that showed methadone in her system.

A few days later, Sisolak filed a police report alleging criminal extortion against Vermillion, her attorney Rob Martin and public relations adviser Mark Fierro, saying Martin and Fierro asked for $3.9 million to drop Vermillion’s lawsuit. Las Vegas police are investigating the allegation.

The Sun also learned last week that the FBI is investigating allegations that Vermillion may have used her elected office to solicit donations for her charity, the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.

The charity is one of the most high-profile organizations in Las Vegas, having received mention in Congress by former U.S. Rep. Jon Porter and drawing board members from Nevada’s political and cultural elite.

Late last year, however, Vermillion sparred with her executive director, Arash Ghafoori, who questioned the Partnership’s expense reports.

In early January, Vermillion put Ghafoori on paid administrative leave. Then several of the charity’s board members resigned, including Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, one of the charity’s founding board members.

In January, Ghafoori filed a 120-page document with the Nevada attorney general alleging misappropriation of funds by the tax-exempt charity.

More than a week ago, the few remaining board members officially let Vermillion go and rehired Ghafoori.

Sisolak, who broke up with Vermillion in November after seeing her for five years, offered a brief statement Tuesday afternoon.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Kathleen and family at this very difficult time especially her children, who showed a tremendous amount of love and maturity,” he said.

After Vermillion’s allegations, her ex-husband issued a statement saying Sisolak had been nothing but a gentleman to him and Vermillion’s family. He also said that Vermillion’s teenaged daughter denied allegations that Sisolak engaged in an “improper” relationship with her.

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