Commission OKs change to coroner's inquest ordinance

The Clark County Commission on Tuesday approved a change to the coroner's inquest ordinance per a judicial ruling that the process violated the Nevada Constitution.

The amendment, brought forward by Assistant County Manager Jeff Wells, brings the county ordinance in line with the court ruling but is not expected to end the battle between the commission and the police officers union regarding its constitutionality.

The ruling concludes the ordinance will obey the separation of powers doctrine by deleting the sentence that reads: "The presiding officer may request further investigation of an officer involved death after consulting with interested parties."

District Judge Joanna Kishner ruled in November that the provision violated the constitution because it mandates justices of the peace perform executive branch duties and functions.

On Dec. 5, U.S. District Judge Philip Pro decided a second case, filed by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, denying all federal and state constitution claims against the county's new inquest ordinance except for the same separation of powers question that Kishner had ruled on and remanded the case to state District Court on that issue.

Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at or 702-455-4519.


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