$1B Lawsuit Alleges Quid Pro Quo Between Gov. Sisolak and Commissioner Married to VP Harris' Top Advisor

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Nevada Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak has been accused in a lawsuit of conducting a corrupt backroom deal with Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones (D). Jones’ wife, Megan Jones, was appointed as a special government employee to Vice President Kamala Harris last month. Her assignment titles are Special Assistant to the President and Director of Public Engagement at the Office of the Vice President. She worked as a Senior Advisor to the Vice President’s 2020 campaign in Nevada and as a top aide to Senator Harry Reid, who passed away last year and is responsible for the Democrat “Reid Machine” that produces politicians for all aspects of government in Nevada.


The addition to Harris’ team comes amid multiple staffing departures and reorganizations in her office and was reported to stem from concerns about a “red wave” in Nevada.

The Daily Mail broke the exclusives on the lawsuit brought by developer Jim Rhodes under his company, Gypsum Resources. The suit seeks more than $1 billion in damages for the Clark County Commission’s rejection of residential property development in the Red Rock National Conservation area. A motion to impose sanctions for the destruction of evidence will be heard in Federal court on October 20. If successful, the lawsuit threatens to wipe out the county’s $1.5 billion budget, possibly causing bankruptcy.

In 2018, Jones was an environmental lawyer for a group called “Save Red Rock,” while he was campaigning for the county commission seat. Sisolak was a county commissioner at that time and was campaigning for governor. In court records, Jones is accused of trading his sought-after endorsement of Sisolak for governor and a promise to dismiss an “uncomfortable lawsuit” (thought to be the “Save Red Rock” suit Jones was the lead attorney on) in exchange for Sisolak voting “no” on Rhodes’ plans and using his role on the board to delay a key vote until Jones was in office. As part of Jones’ campaign, he had promised to end the Red Rock development plans within 100 days of his term. The lawsuit states that the pressure campaign was successful and that Sisolak would release a statement opposing the residential development. Sisolak is running for re-election against Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R).


A 2018 social media post is included in court filings, where Jones poses in a Halloween costume as “The Red Rock Guy” and references Rhodes as his “arch-nemesis”. Jones denied multiple times ever using the phrase “arch-nemesis” in relation to Jones in a taped deposition.

The lawsuit claims that Jones failed to recuse himself from voting and misled the ethics board about his vested interest in the outcome of derailing the development. Jones is also accused of trying to destroy evidence and communications having to do with the quid pro quo and board votes. A federal judge ordered Jones to turn over his cell phone for a forensic examination after failing to produce all the communications that had been requested, including messages with his wife that may be pertinent. The forensic examination revealed those texts between Jones and his wife had been deleted as well as an “en masse” deletion on the day of the Gypsum Resources application denial vote. Jones’ scheme to delete evidence he was legally obligated to preserve became apparent due to the fact not all of the recipients had done the same, as he had blind-copied Andy Maggi, head of the Nevada Conservation League, in his deal-making emails to Sisolak. 


A motion to impose sanctions for the destruction of evidence will be heard in Federal court on October 20. 

On Tuesday, the Commission voted to approve Gypsum Resources building 429 homes in Red Rock, with Jones’ casting a Yes vote. The previous plan was to build more than 5,000 homes and buildings. 


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