An agenda presented at the County Commissioners meeting to abolish the constable’s office in Las Vegas was postponed till the March 19 meeting.
After hearing several witnesses from both sides (one “shopping” for the business that the constable’s office would no longer do), and seeing the constable’s office executing police tactics like the police used to do during coroner’s inquests, they filled up the commission chamber with constables in uniform, and the county parking lot with constable’s official cars, giving the appearance of using intimidation tactics.
The opening agenda was presented by County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. Commissioner Chairman Steve Sisolak then followed the suggestion of Commissioner Tom Collins to postpone the agenda to the March 19 meeting.
For a long time Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura has taken a good part of the County Commissioners’ time; he has in a way exhausted their patience due to his extravagant ways of operating the office. Bonaventura says he is the subject of a smear campaign by county officials who want to get rid of his office.
Bonaventura upset the board when he tried to make a reality TV show wherein his deputies were portrayed in questionable scenes using foul language and displaying a belligerent attitude, imitating the local police; then he and his office were sued by a former employee for sexual harassment. Two of his top assistants are also suing him.
The most recent of his problems came about when he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol a few weeks ago. Most likely, that will not affect him with the board due to the fact that one of their own, Commissioner Tom Collins, had been arrested for public intoxication.
After his arrest, Bonaventura blamed the arrest on a vendetta against him by someone on the board, but none of the commissioners responded to the allegations.
Some of the county commissioners are up for reelection and may not want to take up the fight of taking down an elected official when it is the voters’ responsibility to do that – if they were more politically educated.
Former Clark County District Attorney David Roger did not like former County Recorder Fran Dean and succeeded in taking her down despite the fact that she was an elected official, and only impeachment or a recall would have been the way to take her down.
The job of the constable may come to an end, but the money saved will be nil because as soon as the Sheriff’s Civil Division starts serving eviction notices, subpoenas and summons, and doing the job of the constable, the sooner the higher administration of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will rush in to ask for more money to fulfill the duties of the new job.
Some people believe that making the constable’s job an appointed one will be like opening it up to bribery, buying the position for favors to those who make the appointment. That would make it a very cushy position indeed, with only seven people to bow to.