Massachusetts regulators consider next steps in Steve Wynn lawsuit

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will go into a closed session later Thursday to discuss legal strategies in its courtroom fight with Steve Wynn.

Commissioners were briefed early Thursday about actions in Clark County District Court since November and how they affect the state’s ability to release a report on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to operate a casino resort in Everett, Massachusetts, just outside Boston.

Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd. plans to open the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in June. The commission agreed earlier to stay on a path of anticipating the June 2019 opening while preparing an investigative report for an adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of the company to operate after reports of sexual harassment by Steve Wynn were published in several media outlets in early 2018.

Steve Wynn has denied the harassment allegations and filed a lawsuit Nov. 7 against his former company, the commission and its lead investigator, Karen Wells.

Settlement disclosure at issue

The investigation is expected to show whether the company had a role in failing to disclose a $7.5 million settlement payment to a female Wynn employee who accused Steve Wynn of harassment.

Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction blocking the commission from using any of the materials gathered by Wells based on Steve Wynn’s contention that their use violated his attorney-client privilege. The company and the commission contended the documents and interviews conducted by Wells were allowable under a common interest agreement between the attorneys.

Over the past two weeks, Gonzalez conducted hearings involving attorneys for Steve Wynn, the commission, Wynn Resorts and Wells.

Dave Mackey, outside counsel for the commission, told the four-member board that he believes Wells didn’t violate any attorney-client privilege in the course of her investigation.

“We absolutely do not believe that Mr. Wynn’s allegation that Director Wells somehow flagrantly invaded the common interest privileges are supported by the facts here,” Mackey said. “To put that in context involves interviews with these lawyers interviewed and involved in certain matters relevant to the (Investigation and Enforcement Bureau’s) investigation. These were lawyers familiar with the issues at stake, they were among the most well-respected members of the Nevada bar, they themselves were represented at those interviews by experienced counsel.

“Counsel for Wynn Resorts also attended those interviews,” Mackey said. “These witnesses were advised by Director Wells that Wynn Resorts, the company, had waived its privilege and was cooperating, but that Mr. Wynn had not waived his privilege and if the witness had any concerns at all about these boundaries of an attorney-client privilege, they should feel free to consult with their counsel, leave the room, have a discussion and that they should only answer the question if they felt like they could. In fact, the witnesses did on occasion raise privilege issues and Director Wells fully respected that and moved on to other questions.”

No Nevada lawsuit

At one point, acting Chairwoman Gayle Cameron asked Mackey why Steve Wynn would sue the Massachusetts commission, but not the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which is conducting a similar investigation of sexual harassment allegations.

“I could conjecture, but I’m not confident enough about it to say publicly what that rationale might be,” he said.

Later in the meeting, representatives of Encore Boston Harbor gave a quarterly progress report on the 671-room resort project, Wynn Resorts has called “the largest private single-phase construction project in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Encore President Robert DeSalvio told commissioners a floating dock, onsite utilities, plant selection and purchasing are nearly complete and that onsite paving was about 70 percent done.

Wall framing and drywall is nearly finished, but only 10 percent of the carpet is down. The convention area is between 70 and 80 percent complete. Eight of the 27 floors of hotel rooms are finished with paint done up to level 24, wall coverings to level 22, carpet to level 20 and furniture to level 10.

DeSalvio said the company has met or exceeded nearly every design and construction contract goal for the hiring of minority, women and veteran business enterprises.

This is a developing news story. Check back for updates.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Varram lats you play with your pet remotely
Varram’s pet robot is designed to let you remotely interact with your real pet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES-Formlabs releases new products
Formlabs, a company that produces 3D printers for professionals, has released two new products that can be printed on their hardware. One is a material to print dentures, and the other is an elastic-like material that can be used for printing various flexible pieces. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like