Sen. Ensign’s Dad Could Lose Casino Project Over Scandal

Michael Ensign, the father of Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), may be finding his business deals threatened after he admitted to giving his son’s mistress and her husband $96,000.

Ensign, a partner in a proposed casino in Kansas, may be asked to withdraw from the project if investigators find he violated campaign finance law.

The head of the Kansas Lottery told the Kansas City Star that the lottery will conduct its own ethics investigation into Ensign’s involvement in the scandal, in addition to watching for the results of any federal investigations into Sen. Ensign and his parents.

“If it is found that there was wrongdoing, that would have an effect on things,” said Ed Van Petten. That effect could include keeping Ensign out of the management of the casino, or asking him to withdraw altogether, he said.

Ensign was chairman of the board of the company that ran Vegas’s Mandalay Bay Resort. He reportedly made about $130 million after orchestrating Mandalay’s sale to MGM in 2005.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed an FBI complaint over the payment.

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