Laxalt tells lawmakers he never pressured Gaming Control Board – Las Vegas Review-Journal

CARSON CITY — Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt told state lawmakers Wednesday that he at no time pressured the Gaming Control Board to intervene in a private legal dispute between Las Vegas Sands Corp. and a former employee.

Laxalt, in his first appearance before the 2017 Legislature, responded to concerns expressed by Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett about a private meeting the two men had in March 2016 about the Sands case. Burnett secretly recorded the conversation.

Laxalt and Burnett testified before a joint meeting of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees. The panels met to hear Assembly Bill 513, a bill requested by Ways and Means Chairwoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, which would remove the attorney general’s office as counsel for the Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission and establish an independent legal counsel for the regulators.

Burnett told the committee he thought the Laxalt matter was settled. But Carlton issued a subpoena this month and received Burnett’s recording and an affidavit he prepared. The information was made public in the week ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

The hearing and surrounding debate about the recording has been characterized by Laxalt and some fellow Republicans as a political attack. Laxalt, a Republican, is considering a run for governor next year.

But Carlton and other Democrats have expressed concern about the nature of the meeting and whether Laxalt’s discussion with Burnett was done as a favor to Sands, a campaign donor to Laxalt.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, asked Laxalt if he was advocating on behalf of Sands.

Laxalt said that was not the case and that his legal interest in filing a “friend of the court” brief was rooted in protecting the agency and its ability to preserve confidentiality and the integrity of Nevada’s gaming

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