On Your Side: New accusations in Storey Co. Sheriff's race

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 9/03 6:42 pm
VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- There is a new development in the race for Storey County Sheriff.

Deputy Shawn Mahan is squaring off against his boss, Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, this November. But News 4 has learned Mahan has been suspended indefinitely.

The situation has left voters with a lot of questions, including Virginia City resident Pat Logan. "There's a lot of controversy right now and no one knows what's going on," Logan said.

Sheriff Antinoro is seeking re-election, and he is being challenged by one of his own deputies. But the race has taken a new turn, now that the Sheriff has put his challenger on administrative leave for reasons that have not been publicized.

Shawn Mahan's attorney Justin Clouser said allegations have been raised against clients in the past, and he has been cleared every time. Clouser said he thinks Antinoro is simply trying to use his power as Sheriff to get re-elected.

"It's not fair," Clouser told News 4. "Because what it looks like is the incumbent is trying to sully the reputation of a deputy who has well-served the community."

But Antinoro said he cannot discuss the allegations, because this is a personnel issue. He said he had no choice but to put his opponent on leave when accusations of wrongdoing came to his attention. "There is an allegation of department violation, and it will be investigated. That's how it works."

Mahan will get a chance to argue his case at an administrative hearing, which may happen as soon as next week. Until then, voters like longtime resident Jimmy Gill are simply left to wait and wonder.

"I have a big question mark hanging over my head as a lot of people do," Gill said.

For now, Shawn Mahan continues to campaign for the job, even as questions loom over his status and the reason he was suspended.

"First of all, I'd like to know why he put him on leave. It seems like the timing is kind of bad," said Logan.

But Sheriff Antinoro said he is simply doing the job that he was elected to do. He said handing down discipline, even if it involves his own political opponent, is part of the job. "I have no choice. I have to run the organization as long as I'm the Sheriff."

News 4 has learned an outside law firm has been hired to conduct the internal investigation and preside over Mahan's administrative hearing. There is no word on how long the investigation will take.
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dennisbowen - 9/13/2014 10:30 AM
1 Vote
Two investigations on a deputy and civilian burglarizing homes stealing prescription medicine in Storey County. There are witnesses and a note signed by the civilian who was involved in the crime stating they did go in. It happened on a long switchback driveway very secluded place. No reason to be up there. Only 5 homes up on a hill. Neighbor just happened to be leaving and caught the deputy as the lookout with the civilian inside searching. The deputy came back to the home the next day and tried to intimidate the elderly handicap lady who lived in the home. Reported in April 2014 and the deputy still patrols the my area. FBI has been contacted on the matter.

catballou - 9/4/2014 3:53 PM
0 Votes
Oh boy....grabbing popcorn. My vote would go to the underdog of course.

Griffin - 9/4/2014 3:23 PM
1 Vote
The timing and refusal to say out right if there was or was not wrong doing leaves me to infer the Sheriff has done this merely to sully his opponent. On that conclusion alone I'd vote against the Sheriff. Sorry, but publicizing this has made me feel The Sheriff should no longer remain Sheriff.

comstocklady - 9/3/2014 7:07 PM
2 Votes
This is reporting? You repeat allegations, do little fact checking. "...now that the Sheriff has put his challenger on administrative leave for reasons that have not been publicized." He is on leave for a personnel matter due to accusations about him. Until cleared, it would be a huge liability to the county to have him on the job. This is standard procedure. You state that the reasons have not been publicized. Personnel details can not legally be publicized. If Joe Hart was put on administrative leave, should everyone be told all the details? Absolutely not. Your station would simply state that he was on leave. This station and Joe Hart in particular, in my opinion, seem to want to make something bigger out of this than it is. Let the process continue and the internal investigation and administrative hearing proceed. Deal with facts, not allegations. When the process is completed, then report on the results. This is the second story about this administrative leave. Why?
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