Nevada Senate Majority leader Kelvin Atkinson plead guilty this morning to federal corruption charges according to a tweet published by Jon Ralston.
Atkinson announced his resignation shortly after today’s floor session and initially took full responsibility for his actions but later expressed his regret that his corrupt actions had been discovered by authorities.
“It has been discovered that I used campaign finance funds for personal use,” Atkinson lamented in his resignation letter. “Thus I will be taking responsibility and pleading guilty for those actions when that time comes.
But one has to wonder just how far he intended to get while posting pictures of his endless traveling on social media.
Senate GOP Leader James Settelmayer initially issued a statement saying he hopes Atkinson “exception, not the rule”. But has since changed his tone, later stating, “We hope this is an exception, but we must get all the facts and determine how far this corruption goes.”
On the contrary, there has been an outpouring of kind sentiments from Nevada Democrats expressing their condolences to Senator Atkinson and his family in these trying times.
Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak however, was abrupt and to the point about how he feels about corruption in his state. Stating, “This admitted violation of the law goes against the integrity every elected officer in the state of Nevada should uphold. By doing so, he betrayed the trust of the public, and therefore should be held accountable.”
Kelvin Atkinson is the first openly gay senator in Nevada and the first person to be married under laws allowing gay marriage in Nevada.
He will likely be succeeded by Nicole Cannizzaro, who will be the first female Senate Majority Leader in Nevada.
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