Janet Hess resigns as Storey County District Attorney

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Storey County District Attorney Janet Hess will join the Attorney General's Office on Aug. 1 where she will be working in banking and insurance law.

"Things are in control at the District Attorney's Office and it's time for a new challenge," she said. "I'm not running for re-election and with the economy as tight as it is, I didn't want to wait to be looking for a job in January or February."

She announced her resignation Monday.

"She has a chance to pursue other interests that may not be here at the end of the year," said Storey County Commissioner Bob Kershaw.

"I know at times she's had a rocky relationship with commissioners, but that comes with the territory. She had a lot of tough issues to deal with in Storey County and now that she's chosen a new path, I wish her well."

County commissioners can appoint an interim district attorney, but officials might use other legal counsel until Hess's term expires in January. Storey County has used attorney Chris Mackenzie of the Carson City firm Allison, Mackenzie, Hartman, Soumbeniotis & Russell in the past, according to Kershaw.

Deputy District Attorney Sharon Claassen and attorney Harold Swafford will run for the position in November.

"Sharon Claassen has done a wonderful job in the few things I've worked on with her," Kershaw said. "I may be shooting from the hip a little here, but with the election coming, the commissioners will want to remain as neutral as possible."

Hess completed almost two terms, or 7-1/2 years, as district attorney.

"I've completed the cases I'm concerned about and it's a real good time to leave," she said. "We've finished the maps for the new election districts and we're in good shape. There were times when I wouldn't have felt comfortable leaving, but at this point the change won't be disruptive."

July 31 will be her last day as district attorney and she starts her new position Aug. 1.

"I'll miss Storey County and the staff. They've been a great team to work with," she said. "It's been a wonderful experience for me. The work is interesting and I've met so many nice people. They aren't just constituents anymore. I've made a lot of personal friends."

Originally from Kentucky, Hess completed her law degree in Ohio in 1977. She lives in Silver City.


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