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Republicans Call Allegation That Nevada Democrat Bruised His Ex-Wife ‘Disturbing’

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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  • The ex-wife of Nevada Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak said she was treated like “a total prisoner” throughout their 13-year marriage and that he drove a wedge between her and her children.
  • Dallas Garland said she was left with a bruised neck from an altercation with Sisolak after she filed for divorce in 2000 and provided pictures and a contemporaneous diary.
  • The campaign for Sisolak’s Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt, said the allegations are “disturbing” and should be taken seriously.
  • Sisolak’s campaign denied the allegation and provided sworn statements from his daughters saying they witnessed the event, but described Garland as the aggressor.

The allegation that Nevada gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak bruised his ex-wife is “disturbing,” spokesmen for the Democrat’s opponent and the Republican Governors Association said.

Lori “Dallas” Garland said she was left with a bruised neck from an August 2000 incident with Sisolak after she filed for divorce earlier that year. Garland, who said Sisolak treated her like “a total prisoner” throughout their 13-year marriage, provided The Daily Caller News Foundation with pictures of her bruised neck and a contemporaneous diary entry detailing the incident. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: He’s Running For Governor As A Single Dad, But His Ex-Wife Says He Treated Her ‘Like A Prisoner,’ Bruised Her Neck)

“These are disturbing charges with significant evidence,” the communications director for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, Parker Briden, told TheDCNF. “Domestic violence always deserves to be taken seriously.”

Republican Governors Association communications director Jon Thompson told TheDCNF: “These are disturbing allegations, and if true, proves that Steve Sisolak doesn’t have the temperament to serve as governor. Sisolak owes Nevada voters answers.”

The Sisolak campaign did not deny that a physical altercation occurred between Garland and Sisolak in August 2000. The campaign provided sworn statements from Sisolak’s two daughters, Ashley and Carley Sisolak, who were, respectively, 13 and 10 at the time.

Their statements, put together, share similarities with the account of the altercation detailed in Garland’s diary, but said Garland was the aggressor and injured their father.

Dallas Garland's bruised neck the day after her alleged assault by Steve Sisolak on August 24, 2000. Courtesy Dallas Sisolak

Photo Dallas Garland said was taken of her bruised neck the day after the Aug. 24, 2000, incident with Steve Sisolak. Courtesy of Dallas Sisolak.

Garland said the incident occurred Aug. 24, 2000, the day after she moved out of her marital Las Vegas home. She said she had returned to her home to pick up her makeup, but Sisolak stopped her at the door. Garland said there was no court order at the time that prevented her from entering her house.

“I tried to push the door open. I told him I’m not leaving without my makeup, it’s not like I was going to do anything else, I just wanted my makeup,” she told TheDCNF. “He was trying to shut the door. He had his arm out and had it up against my neck pushing me and trying to shut the door.”

Garland said she and Sisolak pushed against each at the door for a few moments until her ex-husband suddenly “stumbled back on purpose and fell on the floor,” allegedly saying he was injured while yelling at their daughter, Carley, that she had to stay away from her “dangerous” mother.

“Our daughter, Carley, was crying hysterically, yelling, ‘Daddy, please just let Mommy have her makeup,'” Garland told TheDCNF.

Garland said Sisolak was 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed over 200 pounds at the time of the incident, over double the weight of Garland, who was about 100 pounds. She denied forcing Sisolak onto the ground.

Ashley’s sworn statement said Garland “battered” her father and said her father slipped on a rug and fell to the ground after Garland pushed him.

Garland, whose legal name is still Sisolak, said there was no rug in that spot and that having one there would prevent the door from opening.

Garland said she learned through her lawyer the day after the incident that Sisolak was threatening to call the police on her. She said the threats stopped after her lawyer sent Sisolak a picture of the bruise on the right side of her neck.

Photo Dallas Garland said was taken of her bruised neck the day after the Aug. 24, 2000, incident with Steve Sisolak. Courtesy of Dallas Sisolak.

“Steve would have went to jail, because he didn’t have a mark on him,” Garland told TheDCNF.

Garland said Sisolak shared joint legal custody of their two daughters after their divorce. She alleged that Sisolak intentionally drove a wedge between her and her children following their separation.

Garland said it has been 10 years since she has seen either of her children, but said that she had an active role in her children’s lives until they had both had graduated high school.

Sisolak has framed his gubernatorial campaign on the image of him raising two daughters as a single father — a backstory that has helped him earn the endorsements of high-profile Democrats like former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. Sisolak’s two daughters have appeared in two campaign ads with their father.


Garland said Sisolak’s single-father backstory is “bull.”

“He claims he raised those daughters by himself. That’s bull,” Garland told TheDCNF. “He did that on purpose. He didn’t raise our daughters by himself. They have a mom.”

TheDCNF spoke with four longtime friends of Garland who spent time with her and her two daughters following her divorce from Sisolak. All four refused to speak publicly for fear that Sisolak would use his position as chairman of the Clark County Commission to retaliate against them or their family.

“He made it impossible for those girls to ever have a relationship with their mom,” one said. “It’s almost like he’s proud of it.”

“In his political ads it makes it seem like they never had a mother,” the friend continued. “It’s a lie. You guys have a mother, for him to put his girls on there and brag about the fact they went to Planned Parenthood — I don’t give him kudos of that.”

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