Newly-crowned Miss USA (formerly Miss Nevada) Nia Sanchez has been in the hot seat over allegations that she didn’t live in Nevada, but mainly resided in California.
Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995 and current Executive Director of the Miss Nevada USA organization, says Nia did nothing wrong, and earned the title fair and square.
Miss USA 2010, Rima Fakih says to Fox News Miss USA 1995 is behind Miss USA 2014’s carpetbagging problems.
Let us explain.
Rima Fakih says the director of the Miss Nevada pageant, Shanna Moakler, is the one who should be getting called out.
“Many of the girls that you see competing for state titles have moved around. My problem is the people who are organizing the pageant. Did they pick her? Are they the ones who just want to win the title? Maybe it is not Miss USA’s fault,” Fakih told FOX411 in a video interview. “Maybe it is the person who chose her to come and compete for the state.”
“Shanna should be the hot seat,” Fakih added. “We should ask her why she is picking girls to compete for her pageant.”
Shanna Moakler took over the Nevada pageant in 2011 after co-directing the Miss California pageant for years.
Moakler has remained tight-lipped on the controversy, and repeated requests to her reps and the Miss Nevada office for comment have not been returned.
But according to a pageant insider, Moakler has had her eye on Sanchez since she first competed for Miss California years ago.
“Shanna often talked about how beautiful Nia was while she was competing in California,” said the source.
A look at this year’s Miss Nevada contestants shows that several other former California competitors – Mary Kate Fitzpatrick, Cierra Jackson, Susan Ramanishin and Brittany McGowan – also competed alongside Sanchez for Miss Nevada 2014.
Norm Clarke wrote in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the day after the pageant at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, he received an email from a disgruntled pageant follower that “California license plates out-numbered Nevada’s in the parking lot” and that “the ‘hoppers’ have taken over.”
Sanchez has denied allegations of carpetbagging, telling FOX411 she lived in Nevada for almost 18 months before scooping the state title.
Later, however, she failed to name the capital of Nevada – Carson City — in a radio interview.