VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - News 4's Fact Finder team is uncovering exclusive video suggesting it's possible the former Storey County Commissioner arrested Friday, Bum Hess, may have been in trouble with the law before and the previous sheriff might of helped cover it up.
Grainy video from a December 2012 public meeting where County Manager and former Sheriff Pat Whitten is honoring two outgoing commission members - including Bum Hess.. Here’s what Whitten says about Hess:
"He certainly has made my life interesting over the past 14 years - both trying to keep him out of jail on a time or two and trying to figure out how we were going to win yet another deal together with Mister Gilman out at the industrial park. "
Just to be clear, that was the former sheriff saying he had been: "trying to keep him out of jail a time or two."
Over the phone Whitten declined an on-camera interview saying the comment was meant as purely jest in a roast. He added there was no truth to it at all.
That clip of Whitten's jokes somehow did not make it into the official typed out county minutes of the meeting reviewed by the Fact Finder team, although other comments about Hess did.
The current Sheriff Gerald Antinoro says he can comment on previous administrations but for him, all people are treated equally without regard to the social positions and connections.
“We'll deal with facts and figures as they are presented. We don't color that with personal opinion based on rumors and reputation,” he said.
And while we might not ever know exactly what did or did not happen in the past at the city known for being the Wild West frozen in time, it is clear Friday’s arrest of Hess is being handed over to the Nevada Attorney General for prosecution.