An array of computer files, digital videotapes and documents were among the items Las Vegas police seized Wednesday in their investigation of an alleged extortion plot against County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, according to copies of search warrants and their returns.
Detectives with the Criminal Intelligence Section of the Metropolitan Police Department filed the court-approved warrants in District Court on Thursday, along with the returns, or lists of what they took at three locations in the raid, which lasted two to three hours.
Police simultaneously searched the Henderson home of Sisolak's former girlfriend Kathleen Vermillion and the offices of longtime publicist Mark Fierro and Vermillion's lawyer, Robert Martin.
Vermillion, 44, said Thursday that she fully cooperated with the detectives and gave them whatever they needed.
The investigation, open since late January, has focused on a meeting between Sisolak, Fierro and Martin.
Sisolak called the meeting a shakedown for $3.9 million. Martin and Fierro called the Jan. 22 meeting a legal settlement conference to resolve the defamation lawsuit Vermillion filed against Sisolak and Clark County three days earlier in District Court.
The former Henderson city councilwoman's lawsuit accused Sisolak of leaking her drug test results and of carrying on an improper relationship with her 15-year-old daughter. She has since dropped the lawsuit.
At Vermillion's home, detectives reported that they took miscellaneous paperwork, a cellphone and a prescription bottle under the name of "Susan Brown" containing 6 brown pills of an unknown substance.
The cellphone, an old Blackberry, contained text messages and emails, Vermillion said.
The prescription bottle with the pills was given to her when she was released from the hospital after her overdose last month, Vermillion said. The hospital admitted her while she was unconscious as a "Jane Doe" and gave her two prescriptions under the Susan Brown alias, she said.
She didn't request the medication and did not take any of the sleeping pills or anti-depressants given to her by the hospital, Vermillion said.
In Wednesday's raid, detectives seized from Martin's office paper legal files and CDs containing documents they identified as being linked to Vermillion, as well as discs containing emails from Martin's computer hard drive.
At the downtown office of Fierro Communications, police took digital videotapes, a computer hard drive tower and two paper files, one labeled "Vermillion" and the other "Martin & Allison, Ltd." They also took a CD labeled "Kathleen Vermillion's Daughter" and two DVDs of an interview with her daughter.
In the four-page search warrants, signed last Thursday by District Judge Timothy Williams, detectives said they were looking for all records, invoices and contracts relating to work Martin's law firm did for Vermillion in her lawsuit against Sisolak. They also said they wanted all records, invoices and contracts relating to work Fierro Communications did for the law firm in the suit.
Police also sought all media alerts and press releases Fierro Communications put out about Vermillion's daughter, as well as any correspondence referring to the daughter between the public relations firm and members of the media, the search warrants said.
And detectives said they wanted any edited or unedited video of both Vermillion's daughter and a teenage girlfriend that Fierro Communications might have made related to the suit.
The warrants also sought text messages, emails and other communications between Vermillion and Sisolak, and Vermillion's daughter and Sisolak dating to Jan. 1.
A sworn affidavit from Intelligence Detective Aaron Stanton supporting the search warrants was ordered sealed.
Both Martin and Fierro have declined comment. But Renee Roberts, an executive with Fierro Communications, issued a statement Wednesday, saying the firm "did nothing wrong" and "the facts of the case would bear that out."
The police investigation began when Sisolak filed a complaint after the Jan. 22 meeting at Fierro's office. During the meeting, the publicist said that he and Martin were not accusing Sisolak of criminal conduct but that "this is the stuff that ends political careers."
If Sisolak reached a settlement for $3.9 million, it would all "be erased," according to notes from Sisolak's lawyer, Laura FitzSimmons, which were based on a recording of the meeting.
At a news conference the next day, Sisolak blasted the people involved and called the meeting an extortion attempt. Hours later, Vermillion's team held a news conference that included a video of her teenage daughter saying Sisolak had her model bathing suits for him, took her on a "movie date" and texted her late at night.
The teen also said that Sisolak was "obsessed with her looks and how she dressed" and that he tried to continue his relationship with her even after he and Vermillion ended their rocky, five-year romance in October.
"I didn't want to think about him being attracted to me," the girl said in the video. "He's a liar. He's somebody you shouldn't trust. He's grimy."
The girl's father and Vermillion's ex-husband, Burt Boutin, later released a statement saying his daughter had told him that her statements were false and that she had been coaxed into giving the videotaped interview. Boutin's statement also said Sisolak "acted as a gentleman to both of my children and to me."
Vermillion filed her lawsuit against Sisolak and Clark County amid public allegations that she misused money from the charity she founded, the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. The charity's interim director, Arash Ghafoori, filed a complaint Jan. 11 with the attorney general's office accusing her of malfeasance.
State authorities and the FBI are investigating the allegations.
Vermillion, who resigned from the Henderson City Council at the start of the year and was fired from the Partnership for Homeless Youth, has said she recently began substance abuse treatment. She was hospitalized after an overdose on Feb. 3, but she insists the overdose was not a suicide attempt.
She said she had begun mixing alcohol and anti-anxiety medication on a nightly basis to deal with the stress of being on the council, running the charity and being in a rocky relationship with Sisolak.
Reporter Brian Haynes contributed to this report.
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-8135.