Sheriff delivers first report on Carson City jail deaths

The Board of Supervisors on Thursday heard the first of semiannual reports on jail conditions and deaths now required by law.

“I strongly support,” the law, said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong. “It is very important that we take seriously the health and safety of not only the inmates but our staff.”

Two inmates died in the jail in 2019: a 60 year-old male who died of acute renal failure and dehydration, likely due to benzodiazepine withdrawal, and a 51-year-old male from suicide by hanging.

All inmates see a psychologist when they enter the jail and again when their words or actions or circumstances merit it, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The city jail houses an average of 180 inmates. many with mental health or substance abuse issues.

“We often say the jail is the largest mental health facility in the region,” said Assistant Sheriff Jerome Tushbant. “I can’t say how many (have mental health issues) but it definitely is a supermajority.”

The twice-yearly reports are now required by Assembly Bill 301 passed by the 2019 Nevada Legislature.

The supervisors met with district attorneys in a closed door session for over an hour on two legal matters. One involved a memorandum of understanding between the Carson City Fire Department Classified Chief Officers Association, the Carson City Fire Fighters Association, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2251 and Carson City to switch the battalion chiefs’ representation from CCOA to Local 2251, which the supervisors voted to approve in an open session.

In the second matter, the board voted to authorize the district attorney to take legal action as necessary against Tahoe Hemp LLC, a hemp grower.

In June 2019, the business began testing the feasibility of growing hemp on open space purchased by the city with a Nevada Division of State Lands grant that prohibits any use of the land except for open space, ranching and preservation of wildlife, culture or resources.

The board voted to attach a covenant of use to the Brewery Arts Center building, which the city recently re-conveyed to the arts group. The covenant prohibits “explicitly religious activities,” at the building and is required by a federal grant used to purchase it.

The arts center is still looking into whether that means it can no longer rent the facility for weddings and similar events, said Gina Lopez Hill, executive director.

The city would be required to return the grant money if a covenant is not placed on the property, said Todd Reese, deputy district attorney.

The board also approved a $131,200 contract with Manhard Consulting to do the city’s master plan for wastewater reuse; passed an ordinance allowing tandem parking to count toward required parking for new residential development with a special use permit; and reappointed Ronni Hannaman to the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee, Terri McBride to the Cultural Commission, and Margie Evans and Gerald Massad to the Open Space Advisory Committee.

The supervisors are scheduled to meet again at 5:30 p.m. to consider a tentative subdivision map for property known as the Andersen Ranch.


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