Lawrence Weekly, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member and Clark County Commissioner, speaks to the Review-Journal about felony charges filed this week against retired LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and two other former top executives in the alleged theft and misuse of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards bought by the tourism agency. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter appeared in Justice Court to face felony charges in the alleged theft of Southwest Airlines gift cards.
Larry Brown, Clark County commissioner and chair of the board of directors for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, speaks to the Review-Journal about felony charges filed this week against retired LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and two other former top executives in the alleged theft and misuse of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards bought by the tourism agency. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ex-LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter appeared in court on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to face felony charges related to alleged theft of Southwest Airlines gift cards bought by the tourism agency.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said he never expected to cash out $234,000 in accrued vacation time.
Steve Hill, new president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority who also chairs the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, visits with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Editorial Board.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board voted Tuesday to give CEO Rossi Ralenkotter a retirement deal totalling more than $455,000.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter… has been under fire for using taxpayer-funded gift cards for personal trips. The Las Vegas Review-Journal found during some of those trips… Ralenkotter didn’t take vacation time as authority policy requires. Board Member John Lee called for an audit of the missing time. But Ralenkotter said he isn’t planning to cash out any time he accrued.
CEO Rossi Ralenkotter is the third-highest-paid public official in the state He has a pay and benefits package valued at $863,000 annually. Ralenkotter does not have an employment contract He announced his retirement in mid June, amid a scandal over airline gift cards LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned. Ralenkotter’s retirement settlement package could cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Rossi Ralenkotter discusses retirement amid travel scandal.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board approved a series of recommendations Tuesday to curb employee misuse of airline gift cards. An audit in April found that CEO Rossi Ralenkotter used $17,152 in airline cards for personal travel for himself and his family. The Las Vegas Review-Journal had requested employee gift and travel records months before the gift card disclosure in 2017, but the authority did not provide any records of the airline cards. It maintains there was no process in place at the time to track the use of the cards. Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly used $699 in airline cards for a trip with his daughter. Bill Noonan, a senior vice president at Boyd Gaming, who ordered the review of policies: “We’re not done. There could easily be more.” The recommendations approved Tuesday included storing the cards under lock and key and requiring written approval of any gift card requests and recording receipts.
LVCVA President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter talks to the Review-Journal about misused travel cards in April 2018. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors has unanimously approved a substantial bonus for its president and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter. (Gabriella Benavidez/Las Vegas Review-Journal)