By Jesse Byrnes
Sanders operatives accused of posing as union workers in Vegas
Operatives working on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval Bernie fights for relevance Sanders shares star power with NY House hopeful MORE have been accused of donning pins implying they are culinary union workers to lobby for votes in several Las Vegas hotels.
"We can confirm multiple reports of Bernie Sanders' campaign staffers attempting and gaining access to Employee Dining Rooms at Las Vegas Strip properties," Culinary Workers Union Local 226 said a statement shared with The Hill.
"We are disappointed and offended. It's completely inappropriate for any campaign to attempt to mislead Culinary Union members, especially at their place of work," the group's treasurer, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, said in the statement.
"We strongly condemn anyone falsifying their affiliation with the Culinary Union in order to gain access to properties and we will cooperate with casinos and hotels so that this matter is fully resolved," Arguello-Kline added.
Journalist Jon Ralston reported Thursday that culinary union officials have been made aware of Sanders operatives posing as union workers at four hotels, including The Rio, Paris, The Mirage and Planet Hollywood.
The operatives gained access to employee areas inside the hotels on The Strip as they worked to drum up votes for Sanders ahead of the Feb. 20 caucus in the state, according to the report.
A culinary union employee who has personally endorsed Sanders's rival Hillary Clinton said it was "just wrong" for non-employees to be in the employee dining hall, calling it a security issue.
"The Culinary Union has not made an endorsement and is focused on a major citizenship and voter registration campaign while preparing for upcoming contract negotiations," the group said in its statement.
The union is a major force in state politics, with nearly 60,000 members.
Sanders's campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.