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A guard tower at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City on May 19, 2017. Photo by David Calvert

Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda is wrapping up his term at the head of state prisons on Friday, but has plans to do consulting work with the City of North Las Vegas as it tries to reopen its mothballed jail.

The North Las Vegas City Council on Tuesday voted, as part of its consent agenda, to allow City Manager Ryann Juden to develop a contract with Dzurenda’s newly formed consulting company to the tune of $150,000. 

As it faced financial troubles in 2012, North Las Vegas began sending inmates to be housed at the City of Las Vegas Detention Center, but the city recently put in notice that it wants to run its own facility again.

Dzurenda this week told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which first reported on his consulting plan, that “I would never have this opportunity ever again, to be able to set it up the way I want it.”

The governor’s office and the NDOC jointly announced Dzurenda’s departure last month, saying that he was leaving after three years in the post to pursue new opportunities and spend more time with his family in Southern Nevada. Dzurenda’s base salary as NDOC director was about $137,000 a year, according to Transparent Nevada.

NDOC spokesman Scott Kelley said that Deputy Director of Operations Harold Wickham will begin serving as acting director of the prisons beginning at 4 p.m. Friday.

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