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Former Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo dies unexpectedly

Updated July 10, 2019 - 11:27 am

Former Nye County Sheriff Anthony “Tony” DeMeo died Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office announced. He was 67.

DeMeo served as sheriff for 12 years until stepping down in 2015. He ran again in 2018 but lost to current Sheriff Sharon Wehrly, who told the Review-Journal on Wednesday that investigators do not suspect foul play in his death.

She declined to comment further. According to Mara Fanok, DeMeo’s mother-in-law, he died at Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas.

“They did tests and it was established that it was a brain concussion, but we don’t know when he was injured,” Fanok said. “He might have bumped his head, but we don’t know when. It was a very freak situation.”

Fanok said funeral arrangements were being made for the Brooklyn, New York, native.

Wehrly announced DeMeo’s death Tuesday night on the agency’s Facebook page, saying, “My thoughts, sympathy and prayers and those of the entire sheriff’s staff are with Mrs. DeMeo and family. Our badges have been shrouded in his honor and we offer Mrs. DeMeo and his family the honor, gratitude, respect and assistance during these trying days ahead. His service to Nye County and its citizens will always be remembered.”

DeMeo made headlines in his last few years on the post, including being summoned by Nye County commissioners into a closed-door session in October 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to consider “the character, alleged misconduct, professional competence or the physical and mental health of Nye County Sheriff Anthony DeMeo regarding overspending on the budget for fiscal year 2011-12,” the Pahrump Valley Times reported at the time.

The board ultimately voted 4-0 to refer DeMeo to the Nevada attorney general’s office, accusing him of spending more than $1 million over his budget for the fiscal year. The attorney general’s office later announced it was not pursuing charges, saying there was insufficient evidence to show he willfully overspent his budget, according to the Times.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0217. Review-Journal staff writers Rio Lacanlale and Mike Shoro contributed to this report.

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