Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No Mo' "Vegas 911!"?

So it finally happened. After a series of threats, they finally did it. Yesterday, Clark County Commissioners voted unanimously to abolish the Las Vegas Township Constable's Office in 2015.

Barring a legal decision to the contrary, the Las Vegas Township Constable’s Office will be abolished in 2015.

The Clark County Commission, after two hours of discussion at their meeting Tuesday, voted unanimously to abolish the office, effective when the term of the current elected constable, John Bonaventura, expires in January 2015. [...]

The primary job of the office is to enforce evictions and serve civil documents such as subpoenas, property liens, court summonses and wage garnishments filed in Las Vegas Township.

Although commissioners have not determined how the duties of the office would be divided among other agencies, most of them likely will fall to the sheriff's civil process section. [...]

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said the decision to abolish the office this time around stems from an effort to provide services more efficiently.

“The office in my mind is no longer necessary. We have a sheriff’s office that can handle it. We have private sector folks that can do it,” she said.

In recent years, the Las Vegas Constable's Office (and especially Constable John Bonaventura himself) has been making news for all the wrong reasons. Sexual harassment allegations, a DUI arrest, meddling in the Steven Brooks scandal, and even a reality TV audition video (??!!) have created some embarrassing headlines. And the Clark County Commission wants no more of it.

However, this story is far from over. Bonaventura is now suing to halt this planned abolition of his office. A hearing has been set for April 30.

And this isn't even the only effort to abolish the Las Vegas Constable's Office. On Monday, State Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson (R-Attention) dropped SB 294, which abolishes the office and shifts duties to the Sheriff's Office as soon as the bill becomes law. So there's also that.

And something's telling me this melodrama won't be going away any time soon. Bonaventura seems to like his current gig, so he doesn't want it to be pulled away so soon. Yet Clark County Commissioners are tired of the scandalicious headlines, and the recent news has made them question the very necessity of the Constable's Office. Even certain Nevada legislators want to elbow their way into this story.

In the mean time, we're just wondering when we can expect local law enforcement that our communities can trust. Let us know when that happens.

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