Jail guard arrested on felony counts

A jail guard went to the detention center Wednesday, but it wasn't for work.

Correctional Lt. Irving Blake, 52, was arrested on allegations of misconduct during his tenure at the Southern Nevada Correctional Center in Jean. He also was fired.

Blake, who worked at the prison for 14 years, was arrested on two felony charges, including misconduct and oppression under color of office, authorities said.

The latter charge refers to unlawfully or maliciously trying to injure or hurt a person or their property, said Conrad Hafen, chief of the Criminal Justice Division for the state attorney general's office. For officers to commit a criminal act while acting in their official capacity is a felony offense, Hafen said.

The charges against Blake stem from an earlier internal investigation at the prison, said District Court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer, who had read the arrest warrant.

The reason for that investigation was not listed in Blake's arrest report, Sommermeyer said.

The report said that Blake tried to hatch a plan with an inmate at the prison to assault another corrections officer. That officer was thought to be responsible for the earlier investigation, Sommermeyer said.

Blake is accused of planting drugs inside the corrections officer's vehicle to set him up for a drug possession charge, Sommermeyer said.

Blake, of North Las Vegas, remained at the Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday night. His bail was set at $3,000.

Blake declined a request for an interview at the jail. His wife refused to speak with the Review-Journal on Wednesday afternoon.

The lieutenant started working at the Southern Nevada Correctional Center in October 1993, said Suzanne Pardee, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Blake was one of five lieutenants responsible for supervising the corrections officers who oversee inmates, she said.

He had worked at multiple state correctional facilities before transferring to the detention center in Jean, she said.

After a monthlong internal investigation, prison officials turned the case over to the attorney general's office this week, Pardee said.

"I am pleased with the work the inspector general's office has done in this case in a remarkably short period of time, one month from the first indication of misconduct until today," said Howard Skolnik, director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, in a statement.

Hafen said he has yet to see the report detailing Blake's arrest.

After reviewing it, he will decide whether formal charges will be pressed against Blake.

Review-Journal writer David Kihara contributed to this report.