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Vermillion drops lawsuit against Clark County commissioner Sisolak

Former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion has dropped the lawsuit she filed three weeks ago against Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.

The move comes several days after sources close to her family said Vermillion may have attempted suicide. They said she appeared to have overdosed on pills and alcohol.

Neither Vermillion nor her attorney, Robert Martin, responded to requests for comment on the dismissal of the lawsuit.

Vermillion filed the lawsuit Jan. 19 in District Court. Court records show that a notice of voluntary dismissal was filed Thursday.

In the lawsuit, Vermillion had accused Sisolak, her ex-boyfriend, of disseminating her personal health records.

“I’m glad it’s dropped, but the lawsuit had no merit when Mr. Martin filed it, and it has no merit today,” Sisolak said Thursday.

Last month, Sisolak called the lawsuit an attempt to deflect attention away from allegations that Vermillion, founder and then-chief operating officer of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, had misappropriated funds. Sisolak has been a major contributor to the charity.

The lawsuit came after Arash Ghafoori, then the interim executive director of the partnership, filed a complaint against Vermillion and the charity with the Nevada attorney general’s office. In the complaint, Ghafoori accused Vermillion of misappropriating funds of the organization and the city of Henderson.

At the time, Vermillion called the allegations “fake” and said she welcomed an investigation by the attorney general’s office. The FBI since has joined the investigation of Vermillion.

According to Ghafoori’s complaint, Vermillion had placed him on paid administrative leave.

The partnership’s board conducted a December meeting in which Ghafoori’s performance was discussed, according to Vermillion’s lawsuit. At the meeting, both he and Vermillion agreed to take a drug test.

Vermillion’s result “was positive for a synthetic opiate compound,” according to her lawsuit.

“Ms. Vermillion had recently taken some pain relievers for a severe migraine headache,” the lawsuit said. “Ms. Vermillion obtained a pain reliever from Sisolak’s sister, Susan Sisolak, while they were out for dinner.”

The document suggested the pills from Sisolak’s sister caused the positive test results.

A partnership board member disclosed the results to Sisolak, who disseminated the results “to multiple individuals at the Clark County government offices,” the lawsuit alleged.

Sisolak responded at the time by saying, “I have not even seen them myself, much less shared them with anyone.”

He also said he had spoken to his sister, and she denied giving Vermillion any drugs.

The claims in Vermillion’s lawsuit included negligence as to Sisolak, defamation and invasion of privacy.

Sisolak, 58, said he ended his relationship with Vermillion, 44, in October. The on-again, off-again relationship had begun about five years earlier.

Vermillion resigned from the Henderson City Council on Jan. 3, saying she wanted to spend more time with the charity and her children.

Shortly after she filed her lawsuit, Sisolak filed a report with Las Vegas police that accused Vermillion and her legal team of trying to extort him. An investigation into those allegations is ongoing.

About two weeks ago, Vermillion left her position at the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, and the charity reinstated Ghafoori as executive director.

On Thursday, interim District Attorney Mary-Anne Miller said the county had not been served with Vermillion’s lawsuit. She said a voluntary dismissal, filed before the defendants have been served, does not require a judge’s approval.

“We’re pleased that it’s dismissed at this time,” she said.

Vermillion’s decision to dismiss the case voluntarily does not prevent her from filing the case again in the future.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710.

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