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Vermillion drops lawsuit against Sisolak, county

Updated Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 | 2:26 p.m.

Former Henderson City Councilwoman Kathleen Vermillion has dropped her defamation lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend, County Commissioner Steve Sisolak and Clark County, according to court records.

Vermillion filed a notice of "voluntarily dismissal without prejudice" today. She had alleged in the suit that Sisolak and unnamed Clark County employees disseminated information about a blood test she took in connection with her job as head of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. Results of the test showed an opiate in her system.

Vermillion could not be reached for comment and her attorney, Rob Martin, did not immediately return a phone call.

Last week, Vermillion appeared to attempt suicide with an overdose of pills, sources said.

County administrators reached this morning were unaware of the suit's dismissal.

The news was first reported on Twitter by Dana Gentry, producer of "Face to Face with Jon Ralston."

Sisolak said the lawsuit "never had any merit from day one."

Vermillion, who is being investigated by the FBI and who lost her job as the head of a charity she founded 10 years ago, filed the lawsuit in January. In addition to the defamation claim, Vermillion alleged Sisolak had an "improper" relationship with Vermillion's 15-year-old daughter. To support that allegation, Martin and his public relations advisor, Mark Fierro, played a short videotape for reporters in which the daughter talked of receiving text messages from the commissioner, going to a movie with him and to Victoria's Secret.

Both Martin and Fierro stressed that nothing of a criminal nature occurred in these interactions.

Meanwhile, Sisolak filed a police report alleging criminal extortion against Vermillion, Fierro and Martin. Fierro and Martin met with Sisolak and his attorney and asked for $3.9 million to drop the lawsuit, saying it would ruin his political career.

Sisolak said he hopes the Las Vegas police investigation into his allegations of criminal extortion are pursued. "The attorney and the guy who had represented the firefighters union tried to extort me, and what they did is unconscionable," he said.

Fierro represented the Clark County firefighters union a few years ago when Sisolak attacked them for abusing sick leave.

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