Casino mogul testifies for 2nd day in wrongful firing case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino mogul and prominent Republican donor Sheldon Adelson testified Friday he isn't sure where he was when he and his second-in-command at the time crafted a list of reasons to fire Sands China's chief executive in 2010.

Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands and one of the world's richest men, told a Clark County courtroom he could have been in a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean or at any of his homes in Southern California, Israel, Boston or Las Vegas.

It's that last location that's important in an ongoing wrongful termination lawsuit, and the reason for Adelson's testimony.

Since the case involves a foreign company, lawyers representing fired executive Steven Jacobs first must argue it should proceed in Clark County. Jacobs contends he was fired for attempting to expose a host of misdeeds by Adelson and the companies.

Adelson, 81, clashed early and often for a second day with Jacobs' lawyer James Pisanelli.

He protested when Pisanelli described him as being uncomfortable with sending his own emails and instead dictating messages to a secretary.

"I'm not uncomfortable," Adelson responded, explaining his hand is numb from nerve damage so he can't type.

"I think that's abusive," he said of Pisanelli's characterization.

Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez disagreed, Adelson protested again, and Gonzalez reminded him that he couldn't argue with her.

Adelson is worth a reported $28.1 billion, making him the 18th richest man in the world, according to Forbes. He is known for spending more than $100 million in the 2012 presidential election to back first Newt Gingrich and later Mitt Romney.

While testifying Friday, Adelson often referenced his 69 years of business experience. He distanced himself from Las Vegas, at least as it related to his work as chairman of China-based Sands China Ltd.

He also accepted no ownership of an email presented as an exhibit by Jacobs' lawyers. The email had "From Sheldon Adelson" in the subject line and his full name, including the middle initial "G," at the bottom.

Adelson hasn't hid his distaste for Jacobs in court, calling him arrogant, inexperienced and "completely worthless."

He told a story about Jacobs once refusing a return flight on the company's private jet from Las Vegas to Macau because he disliked his seat. Adelson said the flight was for high-rollers going home to Asia.

Jacobs' lawyers, though, have shown emails between other executives and repeated testimony from current Las Vegas Sands Corp. President Rob Goldstein that described Jacobs as instrumental.

Adelson is expected to continue testifying Monday morning.