The former director of the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority has been arrested on drug and prostitution charges in Mount Jackson, according to the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.
Jim Deskins, who served as executive director of the authority from 1979 to 2000 and is now with the Winchester City Economic Development Authority, was arrested in a sting operations March 27 by a Shenandoah County sheriff’s investigator assigned to the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force. The 59-year-old was charged with soliciting prostitution and possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors.
“Deskins arrived at an undercover site ... and offered the confidential informant $100 in exchange for sexual services,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Shenandoah County General District Court by drug task force investigator Sgt. Brent Lutz.
Deskins was transported to the Shenandoah County Jail in Woodstock, where a smoking device and marijuana were found on him, according to the complaint. He was booked and released the same night, according to Maj. Scott Proctor.
Deskins, who is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on April 14, was one of at least seven people arrested March 27 as part of an operation through the Mount Jackson Police Department.
He was the only one of the seven arrested by the sheriff’s office, which, along with several other local police departments, was assisting Mount Jackson in the sting.Carter said the arrest was part of a wider investigation involving several agencies, the drug task force and the Northwest Virginia Regional Gang Task Force.
Deskins currently is the executive director of the Winchester City Economic Development Authority, and also is the city’s director of economic redevelopment. Since his arrest, he has offered his resignation.
While Deskins remains on the city of Winchester’s payroll, he hasn’t been at work since his arrest, according to City Manager Dale Iman.
“I’m currently in the process of drafting a letter to accept his resignation,” Iman said Wednesday afternoon.
The Daily News-Record will have more on this story in Friday's print and online editions.