Kim Sinatra stepping down from role at Wynn Resorts

Updated July 5, 2018 - 11:59 pm

The top lawyer for Wynn Resorts Ltd., is stepping down as regulators continue to investigate the company’s handling of sexual harassment claims.

Kim Sinatra, considered Wynn Resorts’ No. 2 after CEO Matt Maddox, will leave her position as general counsel and corporate secretary effective July 15, the company said Thursday in a two-sentence filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wynn Resorts did not give a reason for her departure nor say whether she would continue to hold her other positions at the company. Sinatra is assistant secretary at Wynn MA, the company’s Boston unit, and a director at Wynn Macau.

“Ms. Sinatra and the Company have not finalized the terms of her transition and departure,” Wynn Resorts said in the filing.

Sinatra, 58, joined Wynn Resorts in 2004, becoming the company’s general counsel and corporate secretary in 2006. She attended board meetings as corporate secretary.

Sinatra held considerable influence at the company and surpassed her peers in pay. Last year she earned $13.3 million, more than some top gaming CEOs, according to Equilar, a compensation data compiler.

Key witness

Wynn Resorts has been under pressure to purge some of its senior ranks since allegations emerged in late January that Steve Wynn had sexually harassed employees for decades. Wynn has denied the allegations.

The allegations prompted the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board to launch investigations in January that are ongoing.

Steve Wynn stepped down as company CEO and chairman in February. Four other directors have since left the board.

The allegations of sexual harassment emerged as Steve Wynn was entangled in a bitter six-year legal fight with ex-wife Elaine Wynn that eventually ensnared Sinatra.

Elaine Wynn told a court in March she informed Sinatra in 2009 that Steve Wynn had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with a female employee in 2005. Elaine Wynn said Sinatra, after consulting with lawyers, informed her that the settlement was not an issue of concern for the company.

Sinatra later issued a news release stating that Elaine Wynn only “made an oblique reference to a settlement” during their 2009 conversation.

Image overhaul

As general counsel and corporate secretary, Sinatra may have breached her fiduciary duty by not informing directors of the issue, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management.

“She was obligated to share with the full board and outside auditors the allegations over Steve Wynn’s gross misconduct,’’ he said.

The advent of the #MeToo movement has changed the way people view such actions today compared with just a few years ago, said Rebecca Gill, the director of Women’s Research Institute of Nevada at UNLV.

Keeping quiet about the settlement may not have been “nearly as big of a deal” in 2009.

Sinatra’s departure comes before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announces the results of its investigation into the company. Its report is due this summer, though a date has not been set.

Wynn Resorts, which is expected to open its $2.4 billion Boston-area casino next June, could potentially lose its Massachusetts gaming license. Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the commission, declined to comment on Sinatra’s departure.

“Kim Sinatra is a brilliant executive with entrepreneurial triumphs from Macau to Massachusetts,” but her “removal is critical to that image overhaul before regulators, investors and customers,” Sonnenfeld said.

Sinatra also has an adversarial relationship with Elaine Wynn, now the company’s largest shareholder with more than 8 percent.

“Elaine Wynn has repeatedly used the broad protection of the litigation privilege to unjustly smear my reputation,” Sinatra said in a news release in March. A spokeswoman for Elaine Wynn declined to comment on Sinatra’s exit.

David Katz, a gaming analyst for Jefferies in New York, said more executive changes could be forthcoming at Wynn Resorts.

“There is pressure on all of them because of the way things unfolded,” said Katz. “I don’t think anyone will be surprised if we see more changes on the board and among executives in the interest of alleviating that pressure from regulators and activist shareholders.”

Letter to Steve Wynn

Sinatra moved from the East Coast to Las Vegas in 2002 to work for Park Place Entertainment Corp, which was later renamed Caesars Entertainment Corp.

She left the company in 2003 following a change in management and reached out to Steve Wynn.

The casino mogul was in the midst of building Wynn Las Vegas, and Sinatra inquired to see if he needed legal counsel, according to a 2013 Massachusetts Gaming Commission suitability study.

Wynn hired her as an outside consultant in summer 2003 before offering her a top-level position in 2004.

Sinatra worked closely with Steve Wynn and Matt Maddox over the years to study expansion opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

“We work as partners, but [Maddox] is the finance guy and I am the lawyer,” she told Massachusetts Gaming Commission officials in July 2013, according to a transcript. “He finds the opportunities and I am in charge of helping bring them to a conclusion.”

A 2013 background check by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission described Sinatra as an “incredibly smart and loyal person.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or tprince@reviewjournal.com. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like