Former county commissioner heads for Elko

Staff Reports

Former Douglas County commissioner and Gardnerville businessman Bernie Curtis has taken the position of Elko County undersheriff.

Curtis, 58, said he and wife Linda will be in Elko today looking for housing. He starts work in the first week of February.

Curtis served as Douglas County undersheriff for 18 of the 21 years he spent with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. He became undersheriff in 1977. Curtis also served on the Douglas County Planning Commission.

He retired from the sheriff's office in 1994 and moved to the San Juan Islands in Washington.

He ran for Douglas County commissioner upon his return to the Valley in 1996 and served until 2004, when he didn't seek re-election. He was chief deputy for the Carson City Sheriff's Department and deputy director of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.

Presently, he is director of government relations for the Holder Hospitality Group, which owns nine casinos in northern Nevada, including four in Elko County. In that position, he recently testified in Hawthorne before the base realignment and closure committee in an effort to save the Army Ammunition Depot there.

Curtis said he is excited about the new job.

"I've been interested in law enforcement all my life," he said. "I'm going back to my roots and will be back in the field I've had a lot of experience in. It feels like a good fit."'

Curtis said Elko County Sheriff Neil Harris was an old friend who was a deputy in Douglas County.

"I'm really excited about going there," he said. "My mom was born in Elko and raised in Independent Valley near Tuscarora. "I spent summers in Lamoille with my aunt and uncle and her family. It's old Nevada."

Harris announced he was hiring Curtis on Tuesday.

"With this blend of law enforcement training, management level experience and elected skills, Bernie will be a valuable asset, not only for the sheriff's office but to the citizens of Elko County as well," Harris said in a written statement.

n The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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