Wynn Resorts leaps to investigate thing they knew about 13 years ago

Casino mogul Steve Wynn may be out as the financial chair of the RNC, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods in terms of the sexual abuse allegations which have been made against him. After the Wall Street Journal broke these stories of assault wide open, the Board of Directors at his own company immediately moved to form a special committee to investigate. Of course, the word “immediate” seems a bit out of place here and should be raising some red flags, but they’re clearly making noises about how this will be a full, fair hearing of the complaints. (CNN)

The board of directors of Wynn Resorts has formed a special committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct made against the company’s founder and CEO Steve Wynn.

In a statement released late Friday, the board said the special committee, “comprised solely of independent directors,” would begin probing the allegations made in a Wall Street Journal article. The investigative committee will be chaired by Patricia Mulroy, a member of the board’s corporate governance and compliance committees, it said.

“The Board is deeply committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all of the Company’s employees and to operating with the highest ethical standards,” the statement read.

So 2018 is when the board decides to launch a full investigation, eh? Before we begin assigning points to Wynn Resorts for “doing the right thing” here it’s worth asking if this really came as a surprise to them. Since Wynn is denying it entirely we’re still facing the same two possible scenarios. Either it never happened and this is a complex conspiracy to bring him down or it did happen and he’s just refusing to admit it. We can’t do anything about the first possibility right now, so let’s assume for the moment that the accuser is telling the truth. (And can we at least admit that it certainly sounds plausible, if not probable?)

Keep in mind that the original WSJ report said that after the alleged sexual assault took place, “the woman’s supervisor said she filed a detailed report to the casino’s human-resources department recounting the episode.” A separate report described the HR report as “going nowhere” but that strains credulity. The massage worker reports being raped (which is sort of the definition of being coerced into having sex against your will) to her supervisor. The incident is reported to the HR department. The accusation involves the boss of the entire company, and nobody mentions it to anyone further up the chain of command?

Further, the idea that the report “went nowhere” doesn’t hold water since she wound up receiving a $7.5M payment. Human Resources didn’t write a check like that and sweep it under the rug without anyone knowing about it. That brings us back to the question I asked yesterday. Who made the payment? If it came out of Wynn’s own pocket, then I suppose it’s possible (though not probable) that the senior management didn’t know, but if it was the company writing her the check… somebody knew.

In any of these scenarios where other executives at the company knew about the allegations back in 2005, the Board of Directors comes off looking pretty bad. It adds up to a case where they turned a blind eye to the boss being a monster and are only now launching an “investigation” because everyone is watching and the spotlight is on them.

One last question arises in terms of what happens to Wynn next. Are the police seriously on this case already? The incident allegedly took place in 2005. It turns out that the statute of limitations in Nevada is at least twenty years for rape or sexual assault, and in some cases there is no limit. Does the fact that the victim accepted a payment mitigate the possibility of prosecuting the case? I rather doubt it.