CARSON CITY, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle resigned from his seat Thursday amid allegations of sexual harassment.
The Assemblyman, who has served his Sparks-area district since 2102, says on his campaign site he has been a paramedic and firefighter for 20 years and is currently employed by the Reno Fire Department.
Sprinkle served as the majority whip and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee for the 2019 legislative session.
Assemblyman Sprinkle released the following statement in regard to his resignation.
“In light of the growing sexual harassment claims against me I will be resigning from my position as state assemblyman effective today. I consider myself to be a caring and compassionate person who has worked hard to serve the people who have elected me to office. I am truly disappointed in myself for anything that I have done to discredit the legislature or the state of Nevada. As for the claims against me, I am so sorry that anyone ever felt harassed or threatened by me. While that was never my intention, I am taking full responsibility for my actions and would never discredit the feelings or concerns of someone who felt wronged by me. I will continue to seek therapy to better myself and can only ask for forgiveness from those whom I have hurt but mostly from my family who do not deserve what I have put them through. At this time, I ask the members of the press to respect my family’s privacy.”
In response to former Assemblyman Sprinkle’s decision to resign from the Nevada State Assembly, Speaker of the Assembly Jason Frierson released the following statement:
“I am committed to maintaining a workplace where conduct is appropriate, respectful, and free from harassment. I am deeply disappointed to learn of the behavior of a member of this body that led to his resignation, but our focus must remain on passing legislation that positively impacts all Nevadans.
During the previous legislative session, the Nevada State Legislature created a confidential, independent investigative process to address complaints regarding the personal conduct of legislators, staff, and lobbyists. I urge anyone who is a victim of misconduct or harassment to utilize this process
Statement from Governor Steve Sisolak:
“I am profoundly disgusted and outraged by Mr. Sprinkle’s reported abuse and misconduct. Let me be perfectly clear: sexual harassment is never to be tolerated – especially by an elected official entrusted to serve the public. I commend the courage of those who came forward to report Mr. Sprinkle’s behavior, and I encourage and support anyone who is made to feel uncomfortable to voice their concerns.
“From day one, I have been committed to ensuring state government is a safe environment for all hardworking employees, which is why I established the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment with my very first executive order. Let me send a clear message to any and all individuals who think it’s okay to harass others in the workplace: such behavior will not be tolerated, and my administration will see to it that such bad actors face the consequences of their behavior. I also applaud the Nevada legislature for its leadership last session in creating a comprehensive process to investigate complaints of harassment within the legislature.
“I am committed to fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns about any inappropriate behavior and feel confident that they will be protected throughout the process. I look forward to strengthening our system of reporting and investigating misconduct complaints within state government even further.”
Minority floor leader, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, also commented on the resignation:
Sprinkle has been a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Reno since 1999. A city spokesman tells News 4- Fox 11 that the City has not received any complaints against Sprinkle.
However, if the City does get a complaint, the City will investigate and take appropriate action.
The personal safety and security of City employees is the number one priority of the City Manager and City Council. The City does not tolerate harassment, discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. City employees are trained to report sexual harassment and other wrongful conduct. When an employee complains, the City investigates and takes appropriate action.
An application process to fill this vacancy will be announced Friday, March 15 by 12 p.m.
“Because the Nevada legislature is in session, Washoe County is working to get this seat filled as quickly as possible so the residents of District 30 are fully represented during this period,” says Washoe County Manager, John Slaughter.
The earliest the Washoe County Commission could take action to appoint a replacement would be at their regularly scheduled meeting on March 26, 2019.