Councilwoman under fire for what county GOP calls ‘racially charged’ remarks

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Steve Marcus

City of Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Michele Fiore responds to questions during a news conference at her home Thursday, June 11, 2020. Fiore apologized if her comments during Saturday’s Clark County Republican Convention offended anyone.

Published Thu, Jun 11, 2020 (2:15 p.m.)

Updated Thu, Jun 11, 2020 (6:55 p.m.)

Las Vegas Councilman Cedric Crear wants Michele Fiore removed as mayor pro tempore after she was accused by the Clark County Republican Party of making “racially charged” comments.

Crear sent a letter to Mayor Carolyn Goodman Thursday with the request after Fiore's comments Saturday about affirmative action at the Clark County Republican Convention, as well as remarks Fiore made this month at a Las Vegas City Council meeting. The county GOP issued a statement saying Fiore’s comments at the convention were racially charged, insensitive, irresponsible and inaccurate.

Fiore was among community leaders invited to speak at Saturday’s convention. The party did not detail Fiore’s comments but said the remarks were “clearly inappropriate and ran counter to the thoughtful remarks of every other speaker and counter to the beliefs of the Clark County Republican Party.”

Crear, who called the reported comments “repugnant,” also complained about a statement Fiore made at a June 3 council meeting.

Talking about demonstrations sparked by the death of a man in police custody in Minnesota, Fiore said “protesting does not give you the right of beating up white people,” Crear recounted.

“During this highly volatile time in our country, it is beyond irresponsible to make such a biased statement. It adds kerosene to an already explosive fire and serves only to divide,” Crear said in his letter.

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Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear talks about the Las Vegas Aces during a Las Vegas City Council meeting at City Hall in downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Fiore apologized if her words offended anyone but said she remains opposed to affirmative action. Fiore says she is candid because of her New York roots but doesn’t want anyone to think she’s racist, she said.

“Sometimes I can get a little Brooklyn when unscripted, but I never want to portray or have anyone thinking there’s a racist bone in my body.”

Fiore also told a story about police killing “this beautiful, white, blond-headed boy,” when they shot at a vehicle with the boy inside. She said the story was underreported.

In a tweet Thursday, Mayor Goodman said she received Crear’s letter asking Fiore be removed as mayor pro tem and was weighing the situation.

“I am taking this very seriously, and it is my understanding there is an ongoing investigation into what occurred at the county Republican convention,” Goodman said. “Every City Council member is very important to me and the city of Las Vegas.”

Fiore responded to the GOP’s statement on Twitter before her press conference, calling party Chairman David Sadjaka a “pandering idiot” and saying her First Amendment rights were under attack. 

Sadjaka had said "name-calling doesn't have any place in this discussion. It's not professional. This is just a pattern of behavior with her, and it frankly shows a little bit of a lack of judgment and maturity on her part and lack of proper temperament for the office."

At 1 p.m. Thursday, three individuals filed paperwork at the city clerk’s office to have Fiore recalled from the council. 

Fiore was elected to represent Ward 6 on the City Council in 2017 and was named mayor pro tem in July.

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