Video: Dana Gentry accused of manufacturing Marlon hit; Gentry: "Fact" Hugh Jackson killed story
Updated: Feb 26, 2022
“Our reporting on all platforms will be truthful, transparent and respectful; our facts will be accurate, complete and fairly presented. Our analysis will represent our best independent judgment, not our preferences or those of our sources. There will be no hidden agendas in our endeavors.” Nevada Current’s Ethics Policy
Since its founding in June of 2018, the Nevada Current has produced media content resulting in a bevy of awards across numerous categories for the still nascent publication. Their initial haul, as chronicled at the time by the Current’s founding editor Hugh Jackson, included third place honors for the paper’s Dana Gentry in the Nevada Press Association’s Investigative Story category.
The topic which garnered her the honor was the issue of possible malfeasance in the substance abuse recovery industry. It was an area Gentry began exploring almost immediately upon arriving at the Current as one of the paper’s original staff writers, and one she would focus on with regularity through the summer of 2021.
Across the arc of a loosely connected series which Gentry strung together on rehabs, one figure appeared in nearly all of them.
Now that connection, prompted by a leaked deposition video, has brought Gentry’s history of writing about Marlon under close scrutiny, resulting in the discovery of stories riddled with undisclosed conflicts of interest, blurred lines of transparency, and, ultimately, the veracity of at least one article.
Marlon, who garnered a modicum of renown in the world of counseling through frequent appearances on the television show Intervention, achieved success across the Las Vegas valley with multiple endeavors in both the business and non-profit sectors. Along with plaudits for his entrepreneurial acumen, he was hailed in the local media for his philanthropic pursuits, with the two areas being prominently touted as he announced a run for Las Vegas City Council in 2019.
It was that announcement, coming just a few months after Gentry began covering his industry for her paper, which prompted the first negative press Marlon had personally encountered.
In breaking the story of Marlon’s 2012 arrest for domestic violence in her column covering his campaign kick off, Gentry also recapped some of the challenges his companies had faced which she had previously written about.
Despite the fact that no charges had been filed against him, along with his arrest record having been sealed, and Marlon’s campaign offering fierce protestations of innocence in the original piece, four days later Gentry covered the seven year old event again, this time dedicating extensive space to the ordeal; in the process Gentry liberally quoting Marlon’s ex-wife, who had recanted her allegations years prior.
This wouldn’t be the last story Gentry authored involving Marlon and a source of Gentry's who later disavowed her statements about him, however the next set of pieces she put out revolving around the former candidate, appearing in 2021, were significantly more personal and damaging in nature, and the fallout from it would ultimately cast doubt upon Gentry’s status as a journalist.
Rachel Palmer, by her own admission, has lived a life filled with, “efforts to self-medicate,” one which found her trapped, “in a cycle of jail, probation, probation violations and jail again.” In the same 2018 profile where she offered that painful revelation, Palmer was also described as attending the Marlon founded Solutions Recovery center while actively partaking in a program offered by Clark County’s Parole and Probation Division.
Almost three years later, Palmer again appeared in local papers. Now identified as Dave Marlon’s assistant, and acting as a primary source, she provided copies of texts that had been exchanged between her and her then boss. These appeared in another Gentry authored article about Marlon and his businesses.
In the story, one which has been updated several times, Palmer, who accused Marlon of coming into work after a positive Covid-19 test, also revealed she had filed an EEOC complaint claiming unfair termination. According to the article, Gentry was unable to garner a response from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission relating to Palmer’s complaint prior to the story publishing.
Months after the Palmer centric tale was published, Gentry sent out a tweet shining a light on a strange occurrence. In it Gentry accused a nameless individual, who sat on the board of Dave Marlon’s Vegas Stronger charity, of trying to pay her to kill off her reporting on the soon to be reeling Marlon .
Within days of that message, multiple outlets, including Political.tips, reported on an additional legal entanglement Marlon found himself embroiled in. This slew of coverage was initiated due to a lawsuit filed by another former Marlon employee and not related to Rachel Palmer.
In the aftermath of the Political.tips piece on the newest Marlon fiasco, a source close to the Nevada Current approached this publication, pitching a story that the Current’s Hugh Jackson had removed Dana Gentry from any further reporting on Marlon, and in doing so took her off yet another brewing investigation.
We declined to pursue it.
Knowledge of the video's existence appeared unexpectedly. A tip came in that Rachel Palmer had sat for a deposition, and during it, made several startling, and professionally disqualifying, claims against Dana Gentry.
In it, Palmer describes Gentry wanting to, “write an article,” about Marlon. She then relays a quote from Gentry, sent through a text message, where Gentry confessed her desirous intent to ”bury” Marlon. Continuing on, Palmer indicated that Gentry guided her toward finding a lawyer, and lastly, that Gentry herself instructed Palmer to file the aforementioned EEOC charge against Marlon.
The video and Palmer, in her own words, can be seen below.
According to two separate sources, well versed in the Palmer - Marlon saga, and confirmed by Palmer’s own account, by November 23, 2021, 14 days after the deposition was recorded, Marlon’s original accuser accepted a small sum from his legal team to drop her claims.
For Palmer her case, which began by exploding onto the front pages of an award winning paper, one that saw her send an email to Marlon on May 9, 2021 in which she declares, in all caps, “Pay ME MY MONEY,” and included a promise to see Marlon in court, ended in her scurrying off to Seattle in hopes of escaping the ongoing temptations of Las Vegas.
When Political.tips reached Palmer for comment on Gentry’s involvement in the apparent fabrication, and crafting, of a story that fit both of their agendas, Palmer unleashed her thoughts.
In a screed covering both Gentry, and her feelings on the media in general, Palmer wrote, “I thought I could trust her,” adding, “I thought she actually cared what I went through, guess I was wrong,” she then said for Political.tips to go ahead and write, “whatever the hell you want.” Her last line before cutting off communication was to reiterate, “You can put that ON THE RECORD.”
Gentry’s insertion into a conspiracy, which Palmer contended had unfolded under Gentry's byline, while still murky, is believed by at least three sources to have sprung from her involvement, and friendship, with Dave Marlon’s ex-wife, the original accuser, Erin Smith.
Responding to a variety of questions posed to her about the events in this story, Dana Gentry’s retort to one asking if her connection to Smith would run afoul of her paper’s ethics guidelines was unequivocal. In denying any relationship with Smith, Gentry offered, “I wouldn’t know her if I saw her. I believe we met once.”
History suggests otherwise.
In addition to Gentry’s email interviews with Smith in 2019, a source, with a long history in Nevada politics, and who has known Smith, Gentry, and Marlon for an extended period of time, placed the two women at an invitation only event together more than a decade ago. Unearthed video clips also show Dana Gentry interviewing Dave Marlon in both 2010 and 2012, which covered a time when Marlon and Smith became acquainted and were married.
Grouped together, those events certainly raise questions as to Gentry’s answer regarding how close she is to Smith, factor in text messages between them and any doubt is dispelled.
The two women, bantering back and forth during some of their 2021 interactions, gossiped about Dave Marlon’s rumored sexual partners and health history, along with a more devious discussion centered on how to make the public and legal charges playing out against him stick.
Another question asked of Gentry in our request for clarification was if the allegation of Hugh Jackson's “killing” of her reporting was true?
Gentry offered a strong reply, “I didn’t allege anything. I stated a fact.”
Gentry has a history with Jackson’s paper of not disclosing her ties to stories that are against not just the Current’s norms but that of the Society of Professional Journalists.
In a 2019 story Gentry wrote about the bankruptcy of Aspen Financial, she failed to disclose that she worked for attorney Dennis Prince, as an investigator, on behalf of investor Donna Ruthe, in the same case. Having already published a book about the company, and its founder Jeff Guinn, and by including her professional ties to Prince, Ruthie, and Guinn in previous coverage on the subjects, Gentry's protestation that it was a simple oversight seems plausible.
More troubling to her journalistic credibility is Dana Gentry’s relationship with the SEIU 1107.
The Service Employees International Union is a powerful entity in Nevada politics, and one that Gentry has had a bitter history with. Hired by them in 2016 as their Communication’s Director, she was unceremoniously terminated just over a year later but not before lodging a harassment complaint of her own on August 21 of that year. Gentry’s time with them eventually resulted in litigation, and included the rejection of a $30,000 settlement offer by her on the way to trial. Winding its way through the court system, by the time it reached the Nevada Supreme Court in 2021, she found herself a defendant in the matter.
In addition to writing about the SEIU during that time, and doing so in an article where she lays out SEIU contracts and employment law, Gentry failed to mention in that, or any story, her history of harassment allegations and failed financial settlements, a topic clearly pertinent to her coverage of Rachel Palmer and Dave Marlon.
Political.tips asked Gentry about this part of her own biography, writing, “According to court documents, you were involved in filing a harassment claim against the SEIU when you worked there. Did this affect your reporting of the Palmer story?”
In her reply to that query, Gentry answered a question that was never asked and, with her curious response, accused Political.tips of having the wrong information. “Your facts are wrong. I’ve never sued anyone for harassment,” Gentry replied.
Although the question was never posited, Political.tips acknowledges that Dana Gentry did not sue the SEIU for workplace harassment; that grievance was made known in a formal complaint she filed against her then employer. Her actual lawsuit against the SEIU alleged the following: breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, intentional interference with contractual relations, wrongful termination, tortious discharge, and negligence.
Although having already answered the questions posed to her on record, and in doing so flatly denying Palmer’s version of events, a crusading, seemingly vengeful, Gentry attempted to strike back at the author of this piece in multiple ways prior to its publication.
Among her efforts was Gentry's doxxing of the author on Twitter which earned her a rebuke from the social media platform and then raising the possibility that the coming exploration of her professional life was a form of, “contractual interference,” for which she promised to, “take action.”
Nevada Current Editors Hugh Jackson, April Corbin, and Sean Scully did not respond to a request for comment.
Disclaimer: Sarah Ashton has been the subject of, and source for, multiple stories by Dana Gentry but none involving the people, or entities, written about in this article.