VIRGINIA CITY - Storey County Sheriff Pat Whitten will resign next week to take a new administrative position with the county.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to appoint 51-year-old Whitten as the county's director of administration and budget. This is a new position that directs the county's budget and finances, personnel and grant management.
"It's a difficult decision to leave a job I love, but the new job is critical to Storey County," he said.
Whitten, an 11-year Virginia City resident, was elected as sheriff in 1997. His last day will be Tuesday.
He also worked as a banker for 20 years with Bank of America.
"There's no difference," Whitten said about his new job. "My bosses as sheriff were the people of Storey County and will continue to be the people of Storey County."
Commissioner Greg "Bum" Hess said he had Whitten in mind for this position since the commission decided to create it.
"He (Whitten) was reluctant at first, but then he was interested in it," Hess said. "I had to wine and dine him a couple of times - and he drinks a lot."
The commission will advertise the position of sheriff and then appoint a person to finish Whitten's term, which ends in 2006. District Attorney Harold Swafford said the commission set a special meeting on Tuesday to appoint a new sheriff.
"He gave us a resume here that is exactly what we're looking for," Hess said. "I did go after Pat; he's been a part of our budget (process) for several years."
Vice Chairman John Flanagan said Whitten is qualified to head the department and "he would be an asset to this position."
Chairman Bob Kershaw said the director needs to keep track of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center's growth, and where its property-tax money is going. The center is about seven miles east of the Reno-Sparks area on Interstate 80. It's 104,000 acres, which is about 60 percent of Storey County.
In Hess' motion, he provided Whitten with five to six weeks vacation, 12 days of sick leave and a salary starting at $70,000. Two employees work in the budget and administration department. The Storey County sheriff's salary is about $66,000.