Politics

Employees Defend Constable’s Role

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Uniformed constables attend Tuesday's Clark County Commission meeting. (Photo- KXNT SamStone)

Uniformed constables attend Tuesday’s Clark County Commission meeting. (Photo- KXNT SamStone)

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Las Vegas CBS KXNT – The Clark County Commission scheduled a March 19 hearing to consider eliminating the office of Las Vegas Township Constable, after Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani introduced an ordinance on Tuesday to abolish it. Embattled Constable John Bonaventura and some of his personnel defended their role and their service to the community.

Bonaventura told the commission there’s no basis in law to abolish the office because the office holder is unpopular. He said approval of the ordinance would circumvent the will of the voters.

Several employees of the office argued the media coverage of Bonaventura’s controversial leadership has put them in a negative light.

“To abolish the office of the constable based on media hype would be a crime to the citizens of the Township of Las Vegas,” Executive Assistant Sharon Graziano testified.

But Giunchigliani said the necessity for a constable’s office is unrelated to the media profile of Bonaventura.

“The media side unfortunately has tainted a great deal of it… but that is not the genesis of this” Giunchigliani said. “However, I think it’s helped give reason and pause for my colleagues and myself, and the community to say, ‘maybe we need to do business differently.’”

Giunchigliani called it a business consideration, saying other jurisdictions have studied the role of the Constable’s office, and have come to the conclusion that it’s redundant because many of its tasks can be performed by law enforcement.

Bonaventura told commissioners the proposal would cost taxpayers money, because it would force Metro police to do the tasks his office currently performs. While the constable can charge a fee for performing evictions and serving legal papers, he said, not so for law enforcement, which he said would require money from the general fund to take on those functions.

Giunchigliani said she’s been assured that law enforcement can handle the additional responsibility.

Bonaventura been dogged by controversy since he took office, most recently for a DUI arrest.

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