Wynn Harassment Probe Nears End, But Troubles Far From Over

Wynn Resorts Ltd. may soon wrap up one aspect of its months-long struggle since its former chief executive officer was accused of rampant sexual harassment, as a special committee looking into the complaints completes its work.

The committee will conclude the probe in the third quarter, after interviewing 114 people and reviewing more than 3 million pages of documents, Director Patricia Mulroy said Wednesday at the company’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. The board expanded the scope of its probe after co-founder Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO in February following a wave of allegations.

The special committee, working with outside counsel, is looking at corporate actions, policies and procedures. It’s also cooperating with regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, with an idea toward putting in place policies to prevent harassment in the future.

The casino operator is eager to put the scandal behind it as it wages battles on other fronts. Since stepping down, Steve Wynn settled a six-year fight with his ex-wife Elaine Wynn, giving her the right to vote and sell her roughly 9 percent stake in the company. The company also settled a dispute with Universal Entertainment, agreeing to consult with that company’s casino in the Philippines. Under new CEO Matt Maddox, several long-serving members of Wynn Resorts’ board have left the company.

The company on Wednesday didn’t announce the results of advisory votes on executive compensation and a request for more disclosure on political spending. Elaine Wynn had opposed the re-election of board member John Hagenbuch, saying he was too close to her ex-husband. She got the support of the three major shareholder advisory firms and Hagenbuch stepped down from the board, along with former Nevada governor Robert Miller. Elaine Wynn attended the meeting but did not speak.

Before the meeting, some smaller investors said they supported Elaine Wynn’s move to oppose Hagenbuch.

“She’s been a part of the Wynn organization from the very beginning,” said Diana Ruchti, a retiree from Las Vegas who said she invested after seeing Steve Wynn pitch the stock at the old Desert Inn, before that property was turned into the Wynn Las Vegas. “She’s just a very competent professional who does her research.”

Maddox said Wednesday that the company was continuing with plans to design a lake attraction behind its Las Vegas property and after that would begin exploring development of the old Frontier resort land across the street. Maddox said room bookings for this year were running “significantly” higher than 20.