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Fight over report on Wynn allegations back in court Jan. 4

Attorneys will be back in court after the holidays to determine whether an order blocking the release of a report on alleged sexual misconduct within Wynn Resorts Ltd. should be extended.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Thursday set a Jan. 4 hearing with attorneys for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Wynn Resorts and its former chairman and CEO, Steve Wynn.

With the opening of $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor scheduled in six months, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is anxious to air the report so that commissioners can determine whether Wynn Resorts remains suitable to hold a license.

The report was blocked when Steve Wynn sued Massachusetts Gaming Commission investigator Karen Wells and his former company for using privileged attorney-client communication in the investigative report.

Citing a packed calendar, Gonzalez gave attorneys the option of conducting a hearing in early January or on Feb. 19.

Wynn Resorts attorney Patrick Byrne said the company supports the investigation and is cooperating with Massachusetts regulators.

Ahead of the January hearing, Wynn’s attorneys are negotiating with Wynn Resorts and the commission over what interviews and documents his lawyers can review to determine if they’re privileged.

The Nevada judge is expected to rule on areas where the attorneys can’t agree.

“We want the process to move quickly, but we do not want to open the investigative files of a law enforcement agency to the curious eyes of the person who is the subject of the investigation,” said commission attorney Michael Rawlins.

The three months leading up to the opening a property are the most intense for regulators.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, meeting Thursday in Springfield, Massachusetts, received a detailed report on the opening of MGM Springfield in August, detailing commission administrators’ roles in preparing for that state’s second casino operation.

The opening of Encore Boston Harbor is expected to be on an even larger scale because of the amount of the investment in the project and its proximity to the state’s largest population center.

But Steve Wynn’s departure from the company and disclosures that he paid a $7.5 million harassment settlement to a female employee resulted in the investigation that took more than 10 months to complete.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Todd Prince and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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