The Globe received financial documents related to and witness statements questioning the residence of Lyon County Sheriff Frank Hunewill. To note, Sheriff Hunewill is running for re-election for a second term and faces Sergeant Brad Pope in November.
The allegations contend that Hunewill lives in Topaz, California at the Topaz Resort and commutes to Nevada on a daily basis. The allegations further contend that Hunewill is receiving a salary as the manager of Topaz Resort. If true, Hunewill would be in violation of Nevada law and would disqualify him as a candidate or serving as Sheriff of Lyon County.
Financial records show (see below) that Hunewill has, on two occasions, expensed fuel in Topaz Lake and according to witness statements, provided by three different sources, the staff at the California agricultural station confirm that Hunewill drove through the agricultural station on a daily basis.
Two witness statements, provided this month to The Globe by Witness One, read:
Statement of Facts (1):
On Thursday, August 4th, 2022 at approximately 1330hrs., I drove to the Topaz Resort, 119828 Highway 395, Topaz, CA in hopes of getting some photographs of current Lyon County, NV Sheriff Frank Hunewill and his LCSO assigned vehicle parked at his residence. I was accompanied by Witness Two.
While passing through the Agriculture Station on Highway 395 at the Nevada/California State Line, I stopped and made contact with the Agriculture officer on duty. I asked the Agriculture Officer if the Lyon County Sheriff had passed through the AG station yet, as we were supposed to meet with him at his home located at The Topaz Resort right down the road.
The AG Officer responded “Oh, you mean Frank? He doesn’t come through here usually until 5-5:30pm every day. I saw him heading to work in Nevada this morning around 5:45am, but have not seen him come through this afternoon on his way home yet”.
I told the AG Officer that we were supposed to meet Sheriff Hunewill at his residence at The Topaz Resort and got separated earlier, thus my inquiry. The AG Officer responded that he (Sheriff Hunewill) had not passed through the AG Station southbound yet, and probably would do so between 5-5:30pm as usual. I thanked the AG Officer for his time and drove off.
Witness Two and I waited at the turnout above The Topaz Resort until 1745hrs. that day and never saw Sheriff Hunewill return to his residence.
Statement of Facts (2):
On Monday, August 8th, 2022 at approximately 1645hrs., I drove to The Topaz Resort, 119828 Highway 395, Topaz, CA in hopes of getting some photographs of current Lyon County, NV Sheriff Frank Hunewill and his LCSO assigned vehicle parked at his residence. I was accompanied by Witness Three.
After passing through the Agriculture Station on the California/Nevada Stateline, I pulled over in the parking lot of the AG Station and told Witness Three that I wanted to ask the AG Station personnel some questions regarding Frank Hunewill’s travel schedule through the AG Station. Witness Three said that he would accompany me and hoped that the personnel would answer our questions.
Once inside the AG Station, Witness Three and I contacted a white female AG Officer and asked if she were familiar with the Lyon County, NV Sheriff who lived right down the road at The Topaz Resort. She told us yes, that she and most of the personnel there knew Frank Hunewill, as he passes through the Agriculture station each and every day on his way to work in Nevada and on his way home to the Topaz Resort, and had been doing so for at least three years that she knew of.
I asked her if Frank Hunewill always drove a marked county vehicle when passing through. She said that in the beginning, he always drove his personal black truck, and about a year ago, he started driving his unmarked and marked vehicles instead of his black truck. Witness Three and I thanked her for her time and left. We waited until approximately 1845hrs. at the turnout across from The Topaz Resort, and Frank Hunewill never showed up while we were present.
Signed, Witness One
The Globe contacted the owner of the Topaz Resort, Gary Dykes, and asked if he employed Frank Hunewill at the resort and if Hunewill lived on the property.
Dykes told The Globe: “Frank comes down and manages the resort. His wife manages the accounts and takes care of books. They do this for free. They like to boat and be down here and they help me and spend a lot of time at the resort. There is no monetary agreement between us. We have been friends for a long time. I wish he wasn’t campaigning so he can help me. Frank is one of the cleanest and best people you will ever meet. He has been helping me for at least 5 years now. His opponent is running a funny campaign.”
The Globe then spoke to Sheriff Hunewill and asked him about his residency, expenses, and whether he was receiving a salary from Dykes for his management of the resort.
Hunewill told The Globe: “My wife and I manage the resort. I am the construction piece of the puzzle. I go there a couple times a week. All we do is manage the vacation rentals, bookings and maintenance. I have lived in Yerington for 58 years. Since my parents passed away, we have lived in Yerington full time and live in the house I grew up in. My cop car is always parked in front of our house.
I go play Sheriff, I go home and go out to Topaz Lake and do things. I am at Topaz Lake on a regular basis. We have spent a lot of time there in the summer than the winter, as I love to water ski. We park our ski boat there.
I have no connections to the Topaz property, legally. Over the last 6-8 years I pass the AG station a couple times a week. I have a deputy that lives in Walker and drives from Walker in a marked car every day. I have gotten to know the AG station employees. Many of them have been there for years. In fact, I have been going to that resort since I was 16 years old.
We are a super-good friends with Gary Dykes. Just an old-time business relationship where you do things for your friends. My work or travels there is not on the county’s dime. My base of operations isn’t out of Topaz.
I have been through a lot of elections in 29 years. I got nothing to hide. I would rather have the truth out there than what people are speculating.”
A source within the Lyon County Sheriff’s office told the Globe:
“Based on my first-hand information and from what I have personally witnessed, Sheriff Hunewill and his wife were, at least at one time, living at the Topaz resort. When Frank filed for his candidacy, everyone that personally knows the Sheriff, knew that he was living in California at the time of his filing.”
Editors note: The Globe often receives allegations and documents related to candidates and elected officials. We then do our best to corroborate the information as it is received and seek comment from those who provide, and are subject to, the allegations. We take no position on the allegations, but as a news organization, we share the information in the spirit of public knowledge and transparency.Hunewill One
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