Michael Treanor, CEO of Nevele Investors, the company that wants to redevelop the former Nevele Resort in the Catskills, has been forced to resign in the wake of shocking allegations that he once sexually assaulted his sister. The story, first published in The New York Post, surfaced just a week after 22 companies each paid their $1 million application fees for the right to compete for just four Upstate New York casino licenses.
As disturbing as the revelations may be, the timing would suggest a degree of muckraking on the part of Treanor’s competitors, as a hugely competitive bidding process begins. The story relates to a charge in 2008, which was disclosed to the public at the time, to which Treanor plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. Following his resignation, Nevele COO Kathi Meci was quickly named interim CEO.
Orange County Opponent
Treanor had been one of the loudest voices opposing bids to build a casino resort in Orange County, arguing in the press that such a project would disrupt plans for a casino in Ulster County and Sullivan County, denying those counties much-needed economic boosts. Currently five operators are eying Orange County, including casino giants Caesars and Genting.
While Ulster County leaders called for the swift resignation of the Nevele CEO, many said they still backed the $450 million the project. Wawarsing Supervisor Leonard Distel said that the town “continues its enthusiastic support of the project and believes the proposal by the Nevele is necessary for the economic revitalization of the town.”
David Runciman, director of Claremont Partners Ltd., Nevele’s parent company, was quick to reassure local leaders and the public alike that the project would continue.
“The details about the misdemeanor assault were disclosed publicly years ago, and this has all the hallmarks of a smear campaign by one of the Nevele’s competitors,” Treanor said in a press release. “At the end of the day, we are confident that the merits of the proposal to transform the Nevele into a world-class casino resort are clear and compelling, and Kathi and the project team won’t be distracted from the important mission of rebuilding the region’s economy.”
According to The New York Post, the incident took place in 2007 “after a boozy night of carousing in New York City.” Treanor was alleged to have attacked his sister in her own bed after she fell asleep. He was sentenced to three years of probation and one year of psychological counseling.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this painful, private, seven-year-old family matter is being resurrected now,” said Treanor in his resignation statement. “I have worked tirelessly for Ulster County and Wawarsing for several years and helped the Nevele enjoy unparalleled public support. The matter and my character were completely vetted years ago by the New York State Grievance Committee and was brought to the attention of Nevada regulators with no resulting limitation on my ability to practice law or operate casinos. However, I choose not to allow this issue to be a distraction to the Nevele project and therefore have resigned as CEO of Nevele Investors.”