Commission to Consider Constable Changes - 8 News NOW

Commission to Consider Constable Changes

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Constable John Bonaventura Constable John Bonaventura

LAS VEGAS - Controversy surrounding the Las Vegas Township Constable's Office could put the future of the entire office in peril. The Clark County Commission will debate Tuesday whether to abolish the office, including the man who runs it.

Lawsuits, reality television shows and alleged DUI charges have all played a role in the trouble surrounding Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura.

The move to abolish the office – which, among other duties, serves subpoenas, handles evictions and processes wage garnishments – wouldn't save the taxpayers money, because the county would have to hire someone else to perform duties currently handled by the office.

Read the Proposed Ordinance

Some county commissioners, however, say they've had enough of Bonaventura during his two years in office.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak says since Bonaventura was elected and took over, Sisolak has regularly received complaints. Prior to Bonaventura's tenure, Sisolak says he never heard one word about a poor job being done.

Sisolak says he favors appointing a constable rather than electing one.

"Clearly, we should have qualifications for the constable," he said. "I'm thinking it's probably better off with an appointed position, rather than an elected position. Right now, it's about who has the biggest name I.D. and has the biggest budget and puts out the most signs. Why do you vote for one constable candidate as opposed to another one? There's not a reason. There's not really policy that the constable implements."

Commissioner Sisolak says a constable who's appointed would have to answer to someone. He thinks that oversight will ultimately lead to better performance.

Bonaventura is fighting back. He says the proposed ordinance would circumvent the will of the people who elected him two years ago. Bonaventura maintains he has the experience needed to sufficiently run the constable's office. Before running for office, Bonaventura says he worked as a corrections officer.

"The office has been abolished in the past, but it didn't work, and that's why the office is still here," he said. "To abolish an elected office is just wrong."

Bonaventura says the move to abolish the office would also affect the 60 employees who currently work there.

The County Commission will discuss the proposed ordinance Tuesday afternoon. A vote would most likely take place next month.

If the commission votes to remove the position, it wouldn't take effect until 2015.

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