Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns as top GOP finance chairman

Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns as top GOP finance chairman Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigns as top GOP finance chairman
Nellie Chapman | 28 January, 2018, 02:12

Wynn, a major Republican donor in recent years, was appointed RNC finance chair by President Donald Trump in January of 2017.

Republican leaders remained silent Friday about allegations of sexual misconduct against casino mogul Steve Wynn, who serves as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and would not say whether he plans to relinquish his role.

The newspaper detailed allegations from a married manicurist who received a $7.5 million settlement from the billionaire casino owner after she complained in 2005 that she had been ordered by Wynn to have sex, even though she told him she was married and did not want to have sex.

Following the release of the report in the WSJ, the Wynn Resorts Ltd board of directors said it met and formed a committee that consisted of only independent directors that would investigate the allegations in the article published Friday.

RNC committee members will be notified of Wynn's resignation Saturday.

Wynn denies the allegations.

US casino magnate Steve Wynn, head of Wynn Resorts Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd, speaks during a news conference in Macau June 5, 2012.

The report about Wynn's misconduct was reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal. "The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous", he said in a statement.

The company said it is "committed to operating with the highest ethical standards and maintaining a safe and respectful culture".

Wynn's abrupt departure threatens to complicate the party's fundraising efforts heading into an already challenging mid-term election cycle for the GOP.

The Journal article detailed several incidents in which Wynn allegedly pressured staff to perform sex acts. Roy Moore, the party's candidate for what had been one of its safest Senate seats, lost after allegations arose that he had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was in his mid-30s and had pursued other teenagers.

This report on Friday is just the latest in a series of sexual harassment and abuse allegations that have been leveled against men in powerful positions during the past year, especially in the entertainment and media industries as well as politics. Wynn Resorts had a net margin of 11.85% and a return on equity of 148.17%. The Democratic National Committee redistributed the money to organizations that promote women in politics.

Further complicating matters is that Democrats are now pressuring Republicans to return the money Wynn gave them in the same fashion that the GOP demanded Democrats give back donations from disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Since 2013, Wynn has contributed almost $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. A person with direct knowledge of the situation said Trump had signed off on the decision for Wynn to resign.

It's not just Democrats who are trying to tie the accusations against Wynn to similar ones leveled against Trump.