Health problems change Whittemore’s prison choice

RENO — Prison officials say former Nevada developer and political power broker Harvey Whittemore’s health issues will prevent him from serving his two-year sentence at a federal prison closest to Reno as his lawyers requested.

Whittemore was convicted a year ago of making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in 2007.

According to documents filed by his attorneys in September, the 61-year-old Whittemore suffers from diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks ordered Whittemore to turn himself in Aug. 6 to a medium-security federal prison in Herlong, Calif., about 50 miles north of Reno.

But Herlong prison spokesman Chris Ulrich told the Reno Gazette-Journal the facility only takes healthy inmates, and Whittemore would have to be sent to a prison that offers better health care services.

Prison officials declined to say where Whittemore would go instead.

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