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Former Nevada tax department chief gets new state position

CARSON CITY — Former Nevada Tax Department Director Deonne Contine has been appointed to lead the state’s Department of Administration, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office announced Thursday.

Contine, a lawyer by trade, will replace Patrick Cates, who was appointed to the position by former Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2015. Cates’ last day is Friday, and Contine will begin serving as the new director on Monday.

“Deonne brings a long and distinguished career in public service to the Department of Administration, and I am thrilled to have her join my cabinet,” Sisolak said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Deonne to ensure our state executive branch runs smoothly and efficiently.”

Sandoval appointed Contine to lead the Tax Department in 2014, and she served in the post until February 2018. Contine led the regulatory charge in taking recreational marijuana from a voter-approved ballot initiative to functioning and bustling industry in less than eight months, significantly faster than any other state that has legalized recreational cannabis.

After leaving the Tax Department in 2018, Contine unsuccessfully ran for a vacant Assembly seat that covers part of Reno.

Before her tenure at the Tax Department, Contine worked for six years in the Nevada attorney general’s office.

Contine, a Las Vegas native, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and earned her law degree from UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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