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Democratic Lawmaker Sprinkle To Resign Amid Harassment Claim

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Democratic state Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle announced Thursday he will resign from the Legislature because he's facing "growing sexual harassment complaints," making him the second high-ranking Democratic state legislator to resign in scandal in less than two weeks.

 

Sprinkle said in a statement that his resignation would take effect Thursday but he offered no details about the claims made against him.

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"I am truly disappointed in myself for anything that I have done to discredit the legislature or the state of Nevada," he said in the statement. "As for the claims against me, I am so sorry that anyone ever felt harassed or threatened by me."

 

Sprinkle, a paramedic and firefighter, served as the party's majority whip in the Assembly. His resignation and the allegations he faced add to a ballooning political scandal for Democrats, who took control this year of the governor's office and both chambers of state Legislature for the first time in more than 20 years.

 

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Last week, Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson tearfully resigned on the Senate floor, announcing he faced a federal fraud charge for misusing campaign funds.

 

Earlier this week, Aktinson pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Vegas to using at least $250,000 in campaign contributions to lease a luxury SUV, open a Las Vegas nightclub and pay for other expenses.

 

Sprinkle told reporters Wednesday night that he would not comment on any rumors he faced allegations of sexual harassment and had no plans to resign.

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"There has been no formal complaint that I'm aware of and I am not going to comment on any rumors," he said.

 

Sprinkle, who did not appear on the Assembly floor Thursday, said in a statement that he considered himself "to be a caring and compassionate person" and will "continue to seek therapy to better myself."

 

Sprinkle's surprise resignation could cut short plans to revive a landmark Medicaid proposal he was expected to introduce this year. In 2017, Sprinkle proposed opening up the state-federal health insurance program to anyone, regardless of need.

 

Sprinkle was first elected to the state Assembly in 2012.