LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Alex Assefa, who was the first Ethiopian-American elected to public office in the United States and represented District 42 in Las Vegas, has resigned.
Gov. Sisolak’s office sent the following statement to local media on Tuesday morning:
The Governor's Office is in receipt of Assemblyman Assefa's resignation letter. The Governor’s Office will process and submit a declaration of vacancy to the Clark County Commission which will appoint a successor to Assembly District 42, per statute.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that they recently completed an investigation into the assemblyman and the case is now ready for prosecution.
According to the department, Assefa faces several charges including; residency requirement for a candidate (1 count), unlawful for a candidate to make a false statement (2 counts), perjury (6 counts), burglary (2 counts), offer a false instrument for filing or record (8 counts), theft (4 counts) and false statement to procure a marriage license (1 count).
According to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, they have not received a referral at this time from LVMPD on charges against the former assemblyman.
Our Office has not yet received the referral from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, contrary to reports stating otherwise. The first time our Office learned of any specific accusations was after those allegations were provided to members of the media. As is our longstanding practice, our Office does not comment on any criminal investigation prior to a prosecuting agency filing charges in order to protect the integrity of that investigation. If we receive a referral, we will treat this case like any other case alleging public integrity crimes, regardless of a politician's political party or influence. We will examine the evidence and bring the charges warranted by that evidence, our statutory jurisdiction, and our internal criminal justice policies promulgated in April of 2019.
Asefa, who is a Democrat, assumed the office on Nov. 7, 2018. He won re-election in November 2020. His term was set to end on Nov. 9 2022.
Assefa was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States in 2000.
According to the resignation letter sent by Assefa, he is resigning over a question about his residency.
In the letter, Assefa says that when he ran to represent District 42, he believed it was his place of residence. He goes on to say that after he reviewed the requirements detailed in NRS 281.050, he now knows he was mistaken.