Steve Wynn resigns as top GOP finance chairman amid sexual misconduct allegations

Casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Wynn has been a prolific Republican donor and led the RNC’s fundraising efforts during President Donald Trump’s first year. The relationship between the pair spans several decades. 

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Saturday that she accepted Wynn’s resignation, first reported by Politico. A person with direct knowledge of the situation said Trump had signed off on the decision for Wynn to resign. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share private discussions.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a number of women said they were harassed or assaulted by Wynn, the chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts. One case led to a $ 7.5-million settlement with a manicurist, the newspaper reported.

The article also said that Wynn’s actions were well known enough that employees would sometimes enter fake appointments in the books to help other female workers avoid him. In some cases, female employees would hide in back rooms if they knew Wynn was on his way to the casino.

Denies allegations

Wynn has denied the allegations. The report sent shares of the casino company tumbling more than 10 per cent.​

“The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous,” he said in an emailed statement. He claims the allegations are part of a campaign led by his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn. 

Devon Spurgeon, a spokeswoman for Elaine Wynn, declined to comment on the allegations in the Journal or those of her ex-husband. But her Washington-based attorney, James Cole, told Reuters the notion that his client fomented the campaign “is just not true.”

WYNNMACAU/

Wynn introduces one of his the company’s casino resort plans during a news conference in Macau June 5, 2012. Wynn Resorts Ltd. said there has never been a complaint made about Wynn to the company’s independent hotline for reporting harassment. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said there has never been a complaint made about Wynn to the company’s independent hotline for reporting harassment. 

Wynn was chosen by Trump to lead the RNC’s fundraising effort, and he contributed more than $ 600,000 to GOP causes last year, according to the Federal Election Commission. Since 2013, Wynn has contributed nearly $ 2.4 million to GOP candidates and party organizations around the country, including 2017 special election winners as well as dozens of state Republican Party committees.

The businessman played a major role in the revitalization of the Las Vegas Strip in the 1990s. It was Wynn’s company that built the Golden Nugget, the Bellagio and Mirage resorts in the heart of the town. 

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