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Lombardo appoints ex-director to Nevada Department of Corrections

Updated January 5, 2023 - 6:34 pm

Gov. Joe Lombardo has appointed former Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda to the post he once held, Lombardo communications director Elizabeth Ray confirmed Thursday.

Dzurenda was first appointed to the role under Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval’s administration in April 2016 and stayed in the role until resigning in 2019.

Before that, he came from New York City, where as first deputy commissioner of the corrections department he managed nine jail facilities with 14,000 staff members and 9,000 inmates.

“I am honored and excited to be asked by Governor Joseph Lombardo to be Director for the State of Nevada Department of Corrections!” Dzurenda said on social media. “I am looking forward to serving those in the great state of Nevada.”

Dzurenda’s appointment comes after the former director, Charles Daniels, was asked to resign by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak after a murderer escaped from prison in Indian Springs in September.

Although the prisoner was caught in Las Vegas, the situation showed an “unacceptable breach of protocol,” Sisolak previously said, as the corrections department did not enact escape protocols until many hours after the prisoner had escaped.

Dzurenda will take over for William Allan Gittere, who has been serving as acting director since September.

Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford on Twitter called Dzurenda a “good man.” Ford worked with Dzurenda when Ford was majority leader of the Nevada State Senate to implement Ford’s prison-education bill. “Looking forward to working with him again,” Ford said.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter

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