Former College President Sentenced To Probation

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The former president of Sierra Nevada College has been sentenced in Washoe District Court to three years in a diversion program for drug and alcohol abuse.

James Lee Ash Jr., 59, also was ordered on Tuesday by Washoe District Judge Janet Berry to refrain from holding a mentoring position with anybody under 21.

He received the sentence in exchange for his guilty plea in January. He could have faced up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine for the felony county of possession of a controlled substance.

A second felony charge of maintaining a place where a drug could be used or given away was dropped.

Ash was president of the Incline Village college for nearly a year but left his post after his arrest July 9 at a hotel in Sparks.

Police found methamphetamine and marijuana in a room registered to Ash and 18-year-old Travis Jay Lewis.

Lewis pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful supplying or giving away a controlled substance.