Nevada Senate Majority Leader Admits Using Campaign Funds For Personal Use
RENO, NV — (03-07-19) — The Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson (D), resigned from his legislative seat after 17 years on Tuesday.
Atkinson delivered a speech to the Legislature, where he said that he intends to plead guilty to Federal charges of using campaign funds for personal use.
Kelvin Atkinson was the Nevada’s first openly gay senate leader. Atkinson won his first major state election to the Nevada state Assembly in 2002. Atfer 10 years in the Nevada state Assembly, the openly gay politician was elected to the Nevada state Senate in 2012.
Atkinson was not only the third African-American Senate Majority leader in the history of the Silver State but also the first openly gay Senate leader.
It was recently discovered that Atkinson had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use. Misuse of campaign funds is not only a state crime but also a federal crime which can lead to Atkinson receiving up to 20 years in prison.
Here is a full transcript of Kelvin Atkinson Resignation Speech:
Thank you Madam President.
As I rise in this body for what will be my final time, it is with great sadness I am announcing my resignation from the state Senate and this legislative body. Due to mistakes I have made I will be vacating my seat immediately.
Regretfully, it has been discovered that I have used campaign funds for personal use. Thus I will be taking full responsibility for that and be pleading guilty for those actions when the time comes.
I’ve worked hard the past 17 years to serve my community and my state. I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved in the state Legislature in that time, from protecting basic civil rights, improving our roads, creating jobs, making us the energy capital and to improving our schools.
I want to thank the many genuinely committed public officials that I have been given the honor of serving with. It has truly been an honor. I also would like to thank my many loyal and committed supporters over the years. No doubt I have let them down and let you all down. They too today are hurting, and I am responsible for that pain. I’ve let myself and my family down.
I accept full responsibility for my actions and cannot express the depth of my remorse. I am truly sorry.
In this most difficult of circumstances, I have been treated respectfully by the prosecutors and investigators, and I have no one to blame for this but myself in this situation.
I hope to have the opportunity to prove someday that this is not who I am, just something I did wrong. One of my friends reminded me the other day that good people can do wrong things but still be good people. In the coming years that is exactly what I hope to prove. I just pray that someday I will have the opportunity to contribute to my community once again in a meaningful way.
As the court’s disposition isn’t final yet, I will not be commenting on any of the details of this. Instead, I will be referring all questions and inquiries to my attorney Mr. Richard Wright.
In closing: To my family, to my friends, to my colleagues who put their faith and trust in me, to my constituents and to supporters, I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed, and I’m truly, truly sorry. I pray for your forgiveness.
Thank you Madam President.”
Governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak (D), released the following statement:
“I am extremely disappointed in the news that Kelvin Atkinson misappropriated campaign funds for his personal use,” the governor said. “This admitted violation of the law goes against the integrity every elected officer in the state of Nevada should uphold.” said Gov. Sisolak.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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