KRNV Channel 4 recently reported on a series of clashes Jung has had with local law enforcement, one of which resulted in Jung being handcuffed in the back of a squad car.
Former Washoe County Court Security Officer Christy Richer told News 4 that in December 2009 Jung’s boots set off the metal detector when she was trying to enter the Washoe County courthouse. Angry and abusive to Richer about having to remove them, Jung reportedly stated, “I will not be treated like this in my courthouse.”
So Jung was teed off because she had to remove her boots and walk through the metal detectors in “her” courthouse with the rest of the great unwashed. OK, she’s a snob. I get it. What horrifies me is an ensuing phone call to Assistant Sheriff Marshall Emerson. “[Y]ou know, we’re going to budget. I’m not going to be too happy to provide for you guys over here,” Jung said, while standing next to the metal detector she didn’t feel she had to pass through. The internal sheriff’s office report detailing the incident states about Commissioner Jung, “She has made it quite apparent ... that she intends to use her official office to retaliate against this agency.”
Yup. An elected official threatened to use the powers of her office to damage her subordinates because they dared ask her to follow the rules the rest of us live by. The nerve of that security guard, how dare she follow protocol!
Maybe she just had a bad taste in her mouth after a 2008 incident at the courthouse. A memo has surfaced that details an incident in which Jung attempted to bring a firearm and two speed loaders through security. Jung reportedly “raised her voice” and told a sergeant “she didn’t need the lecture.” Although in violation of state law for carrying a firearm into a government building, Jung was not arrested, however her gun was confiscated while she was on the premises.
Jung’s contempt for law enforcement isn’t limited only to the sheriff’s office. In 2011, Jung had an alcohol-fueled scuffle with Reno police. Jung went to a neighbor’s house to check on a friend’s daughter and Reno police say Jung tried to enter the home, but officers had to hold her back because she was interfering with a police investigation. According to police documents, Jung had to be physically restrained. Reports state that Jung screamed at the officers saying, “Get your f**king hands off me! Do you know who I am? I’m the f**king county commissioner!”
While being handcuffed, Jung screamed, “I just beat your ass. You’re a pu**y, how embarrassing for you. What a dork. You’re such a dork; I just beat your ass!”
Reports have also recently surfaced that Jung attempted to meddle in the Brianna Denison case. Two former Reno Police officers who headed up the investigation say Jung verbally assaulted them during the investigation.
The officers claim that in the midst of the investigation, Jung was angry her house was outside the search perimeter. She wanted officers to expand that perimeter by at least a mile, to include her home on University Terrace. When Jung didn’t get her way she reportedly berated the officers handling the case, rather than take her concerns through the proper chain of command.
“The fact that Ms. Jung decided to insert herself into an investigation is concerning to me. It was a distraction at the time. Just the fact that she was so, not just critical but attackingly so,” says Chuck Lovitt, a retired police sergeant who was assigned to the case.
Denison’s murderer, James Biela, was subsequently caught, tried and convicted of kidnap, rape and murder. He now sits on Nevada’s death row awaiting execution.
Let’s face it. We’ve all snapped at a serviceperson or cut someone off in traffic, but Jung’s actions are reprehensible. To compound the matter, Jung has responded to these allegations by claiming that her opponent, Neoma Jardon is somehow behind them. This is nonsensical. Jardon does not have some magic power over Channel 4, and there is extensive documentation supporting law enforcement’s version of these incidents.
Not only has Jung been contemptuous, obnoxious and downright classless, her actions are an abuse of her power. Jung was not elected so she could drunkenly throw around her title or bypass the rules we all have to live by; she was elected to faithfully serve the residents of Washoe County.
Character matters, and Jung has shown very little. The fact that Sheriff Michael Haley has withdrawn his endorsement as a result of her actions demonstrates that her base of support is starting to fracture. As a leader in our community, Jung should stand firm in her support of those who risk their lives every day to keep us safe, not attack, abuse and drunkenly berate them.
Kitty Jung, it is time for you to publicly and humbly apologize to each and every officer you have assaulted. No more statements from your campaign manager, no more running away from reporters. These officers put their lives on the line for you. It’s about time you treated them with the dignity and respect you so nastily demand from them.
Sean Cary is a local business owner, freelance writer, host of “Week in Review” heard on Fox News Radio 99.1 FM and pundit on the television show “Nevada Newsmakers.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and read his blog at www.seancary.com.