LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada county sheriff apologized Tuesday for leaving her handgun unattended in a casino restroom last week, after posting an online message calling the incident embarrassing and seeking forgiveness from voters just three weeks ahead of her re-election bid.
“I didn’t deny it happened. I said, ‘Yes. I did it.’ It’s documented,” Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said by telephone from Pahrump, a community about 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) west of Las Vegas.
“If people don’t want to vote for me because I left my gun in the restroom at Saddle West, then that’s their prerogative,” she added.
In a sheriff’s office Facebook post , Wehrly said she set the weapon aside in a women’s room stall during a lunch break May 15 at the Saddle West hotel-casino in Pahrump, and left it while answering a cellphone call.
She said she realized she forgot the gun and was returning from a cafe to the restroom when it was found by a casino employee.
“I really apologize for walking away from my firearm,” Wehrly said on the online post. “It was a mistake and I’m human and I ask for your forgiveness.”
She said the .45-caliber pistol was out of her possession for about 10 minutes, and that it was returned to her by a casino executive.
Casino manager Gregg Shatzman didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message about the incident.
Nye County Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen said that because the sheriff is an elected county official the commissioners had no jurisdictional oversight. The matter was not discussed during Tuesday’s board meeting, he said.
Wehrly is completing her first term as sheriff, and has drawn nine challengers in the June 12 nonpartisan election, including the sheriff who retired before Wehrly was elected in 2014. If no candidate secures at least 50 percent plus one vote, the top two vote-getters advance to the November election.