On Your Side: Storey County Sheriff race turns ugly

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Updated: 5/21 10:14 pm
VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- With the primary election just around the corner, accusations of rape have surfaced in the Storey County Sheriff's race. Sheriff Gerald Antinoro is squaring off against two of his own deputies in his re-election bid. But the fact that they all work together has not stopped this race from getting downright ugly.

Antinoro said he has never seen anything like it. "Definitely one of the dirtiest campaigns I've ever seen in my 30 years in law enforcement."

As Antinoro seeks his second term as sheriff on the Comstock, he finds himself not only defending his record, but his character. Antinoro is facing off against Tim Guthrie and Shawn Mahan.

Among the questions that have surfaced is why a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang is featured in one of Antinoro's campaign brochures planting trees. News 4 asked Antinoro for an explanation. "So he belongs to an outlaw motorcycle group, but anybody who's willing to lend a hand and improve our community, I'm not going to turn that down."

News 4 has also been contacted by several people inside and outside the Storey County Sheriff's Office, who claim Antinoro covered up a murder after Virginia City resident Judy Black fell down some stairs in her house and died recently.

Antinoro said all signs point to an accidental death. But sources close to the case said the scene looked suspicious, because of the amount of blood found throughout the house on Combination Road. They said there was blood upstairs and downstairs, and that Black suffered "trauma from head to toe". Our sources also said her injuries were so severe that her family was not allowed to see view body at the mortuary.

The sheriff said there is no cover-up. "It's been thoroughly examined, thoroughly documented," Antintoro insisted.

But that does not compare to a complaint filed with Sparks Police in January, accusing Antinoro of rape. The alleged victim told police, "(Then deputy sheriff) Antinoro had sex with me while (another deputy named) Dosen pleasured himself." The alleged victim said it happened sometime in 2006. That was eight years ago.

News 4 asked Sheriff Antinoro to respond to the allegation. "One, I categorically deny committing any sexual assault at anytime in my life," he said.

Antinoro said he questions why the complaint was filed eight years after the fact, during the middle of a political campaign. And he also wonders why he was never even contacted by Sparks Police.

The Sparks Police Department said by the time that complaint was filed, the statute of limitations on rape had already expired. So there was nothing for them to investigate. As for why the woman who filed the complaint waited eight years before speaking up, Sparks Police said they did not ask about that, because they do not want to discourage other potential victims from coming forward in any case.

Even though the case was never investigated, the accusation is out there and the complaint is now a public document. "It stinks of a witch hunt," said Antinoro. "Unnamed person making a complaint where there's absolutely no basis."

If that is the case, the question is, why in the typically friendly, small town of Virginia City have the politics become so mean-spirited?

It depends who you ask. Some say Virginia City is simply a town that does not like change. "It's the old guard versus the new guard," said local business owner Breck Greninger. "And Jerry rode in wearing a white hat."

Others, like Storey County District Attorney Bill Maddox, said it is simply a fact of life in a small town where everybody knows everyone. "It's a little more personal, the fewer people you have. In Virginia City, most of the people know the candidates, so it's a little more personal in small towns than it is in the big cities."

The question is, will the rumors and the accusations impact the vote on election day?

News 4 did speak with Guthrie and Mahan, the other two candidates in the race. They both deny having any role in spreading these accusations.

As far as the rape allegation, that case is closed. When it comes to the death of Judy Black, Sheriff Antinoro said it appears to be accidental, but he is awaiting the results of an autopsy before making it official.

Early voting in Storey County begins on Saturday.
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angelonhigh - 5/27/2014 6:49 AM
0 Votes
Most information now travels on-line. How many citizens of Storey County know what's happening in the Reno Metro area by subscribing to RGJ's digital edition? Or do we depend on free TV news, such as Joe Hart's Channel 4? Sheriff Antinoro is to be commended for his continuing education program on-line. The rest of us would do well to buy more broadband from our internet provider so that too we to can tap into the world (wide web).

glencoco - 5/25/2014 4:08 PM
0 Votes
For all of you that think Antinoro is a good Sheriff all I can say is that you are a uninformed as your Sheriff and his on-line education.

omega - 5/24/2014 6:27 PM
4 Votes
Its interesting how the alleged sexual assault information comes back up during an election regarding our current sheriff Gerald Antinoro, usually this things go back a long time (8 years) and have no substance or proof, other than it makes a nice character assassination. Anyone can make an accusation, I mean you guys heard the story about Guthrie being from the planet Pluto right? :)

carsonview - 5/24/2014 3:19 PM
0 Votes
This story is interesting: Carson City Corruption – Sheriff Furlong sleeping with a Tranny? Is it TRUE? http://nevadastatepersonnelwatch.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/carson-city-corruption-sheriff-sleeping-with-a-tranny-is-it-true/

comstocklady - 5/24/2014 8:20 AM
4 Votes
I think GoldHill "hit the nail on the head", so to speak. The commissioner was arrested by our sheriff after trying to strangle an 18 year old at a local event. Ironically, our current County Manager commented about the difficulty in keeping this commissioner out of jail when he was sheriff during a commissioner meeting, which I understand did not make it to the official minutes, either, joke or not. And I remember there was an incident in July 2003 where it was claimed by a Dayton man that this same commissioner, Greg Hess, had beaten him; this was during Whitten's term as sheriff.

brecksurfski - 5/24/2014 7:44 AM
4 Votes
Mr. Joe Hart, Please consider as soon as the results of the autopsy are finished, (soon), to report on the unfair & misleading & inaccurate calls to News 4 which cast "SUSPICION" on Mr. Black & Sheriff Antinoro which you in turn reported without having all the facts. Just the opinon of those supporting the opposition in an 'Ugly Political Race.' The Sheriff made comments to you that weren't aired concerning how he does not even KNOW Mr. Black. WHY would ANYone cover up ANYthing for a stranger? Mr Hart you also mentioned why didn't they 'Save the Blood?' They had enough of a 'sample,' you don't need to scoop EVERY drop up off of the floor. No wounds were on Mr. Black, he was taken to a hospital for his heart & examined, & no OTHER person was indicated as having been IN the house ergo no other blood to test for! Pictures were taken & the Sheriff offered to show you. The ledge at the end of the landing across from the stairs was what Judy slammed into. If you saw the scene you would understand the skull damage & had you brought this up to me I would have TAKEN you there to see for yourself! There was NO REASON to leave blood on the floor where she died for Mr Black to walk through in a non roped off non 'Crime Scene' was there? I broke no law in waiting for his return so we could enter & clean before Mr Black had to face it. We spoke to the Sheriff for permission in fact. No Cover Up, no sloppy detective work. I hope you address this soon & question the REAL reason you received those calls. Thank You, Breck

brecksurfski - 5/24/2014 7:28 AM
4 Votes
Ms Bailey, What I said was "THOSE that called Joe Hart should COME OUT & take the HEAT OFF of Shawn whom I always thought of as a friend & was shocked he was included (By some other poster whom I don't know). AND the HEAT OFF of Guthrie if he was not involved." So who is protecting the 'Couple' of 'Deputies' that called Joe Hart then & WHY would they leave Shawn & Tim hanging under suspicion? You're right, I did mention the report against Tim, but only here. I don't think I ever mentioned it on VCH. It's EQUAL BS with the Anonymous 8 YR later Vengenance or Paid for 'Police Report' against Jerry. I can make a report just like that against anyone I'm pissed at for Revenge! But I WOULDN'T!! NOR would I LEAK 1 to the press on an opponent!

johnny - 5/23/2014 9:15 PM
4 Votes
Tim is worthless. The other guy is too. I work in the area. I'll keep it at that. There not ready to be Sheriff. Would they be even remotely considered for the same position in CC or Washoe County? Heck no. Cause it's a small town, these guys think there fit for the job. Where are they at night? Not a single sighting unless called. Worthless bums in my opinion. Hire all new. Start fresh. Quit hiring these locals that have been around for 30 years. Hire new and this town will get sqared away real quick. Last thing, Guthries sister needs to shut her lips. U gonna try to protect ur brother online????? hahaha

GoldHill - 5/23/2014 6:53 PM
6 Votes
The main reason this is a dirty campaign is because Sheriff Antinoro arrested a former commissioner who was intoxicated at a high school basketball game and tried to strangle an 18 year old he had a beef with. The man's hands were around the teen's throat for over 30 seconds and had to be pulled off. The former commissioner is one of the "entitled" of Storey County who believe they can do anything they want. The dirty tricks and politics you see now are in large part because of that arrest.

Hooyah - 5/23/2014 3:35 PM
2 Votes
I believe the story was about the how nasty the political process is in VC and less about the validity of any accusations. In reading all the comments and retorts one can easily see the truth of that.
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