Ex-Deputy Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $250,000
LAS VEGAS — A former chief deputy sheriff in rural Nevada has accepted $250,000 to end a lawsuit stemming from allegations the sheriff sexually harassed her in 2015.
Melanie Keener’s attorney, Gus Falangas, characterized his client on Friday as happy to move on.
Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro declined to comment. In court documents, neither he nor the county admitted wrongdoing.
The agreement, approved this month by county lawmakers, had Keener leave her job of nearly 20 years.
“Essentially she gets harassed, she complains, and they punish her,” Falangas said. “She wanted to get out of there. It was a very stressful daily reminder of what happened.”
Keener had been reassigned from county director of security to courthouse bailiff after reporting that Antinoro sexually harassed her during a work trip to the city of Ely in 2015.
Keener agreed to allow her name to be made public, her attorney said. The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they’re victims of sexual assault unless they agree to be identified.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported the county paid $80,000 toward the settlement, and $170,000 came from the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool. The newspaper was first to report the settlement. U.S. District Judge Robert Jones dismissed the case Dec. 12.
School Health Aide Accused of Selling Meth
PAHRUMP — Authorities say a high school health aide and two others in Nevada are suspected of selling methamphetamine to students.
The Nye County Sheriff’s Office says school resource officers learned this week that an employee at Pahrump Valley High School was selling meth.
Police arrested 38-year-old Verona Worthington of Pahrump.
They say she sold meth to a 16-yearold student at Pathways High School. The woman’s boyfriend, William Toldt, was also arrested while police searched their home.
Police also say 21-year-old Daniel Sandquist was with Worthington when she tried to sell meth and faces drug charges too.
It’s unclear whether the suspects had an attorney who could speak on their behalf.
Washoe County Approves $2.7 Million More for Homeless Campus
RENO — The Washoe County Commission has approved an additional $2.7 million for a new homeless housing project to relocate women and families from the shelter in downtown Reno.
The money approved Tuesday brings to $13.7 million the total planned construction and renovation of vacant buildings at what will be known as the Our Place campus in Sparks.
It’s on the site of what formerly was known as Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services.
The new campus will provide shelter, critical services and specialized programming to meet the needs of women and children, and help free up space for homeless men at the downtown Reno shelter.
There will also be an Early Learning Center on the campus, which will provide a daycare option to the families residing there.
Commission Vice Chairman Bob Lucey says the project will be a huge addition to the community and a national model for addressing future homeless needs.
Nevada Governor Names New Patient Protection Commission
CARSON CITY — An associate dean at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine has been named chairman of an 11-member state panel tasked with identifying ways to improve health care affordability and quality in Nevada.
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Thursday that Dr. John Packham will head the Patient Protection Commission created by the Legislature this year.
The governor, a Democrat, named legislative lobbyist Sara Cholhagian as commission executive director.
The other 10 members include doctors, a nurse, hospital and pharmaceutical industry representatives, a union representative and a special health care needs advocate.
Sisolak also named three non-voting commission members, including top officials from the state Health and Human Services department and Insurance Division, and the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.
The governor says meetings will begin early next year.