Embattled Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura is trying to head off elimination of his office by filing a temporary restraining order against Clark County commissioners, saying the move is unconstitutional.
The Clark County Commission is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the plan to zero-out the constable’s office.
Kenneth Frizzell, Bonaventura’s attorney, said Saturday that he filed a request for a temporary restraining order to stop the commission vote late last week, and the issue has been set for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday before Clark County District Court Judge Rob Bare.
If Bare rejects the premise of the lawsuit, then Bonaventura, 50, has one more legal lifeline — a preliminary injunction request scheduled for a hearing in late April, Frizzell said in a telephone interview from his home.
“The county commissioners are saying there’s no need for the office, but there are written procedures that they have to follow by statute,” Frizzell said. “It really has nothing to do with the necessity of the office. It’s for some other reason that they want to get rid of it. Probably personal reasons.”
Bonaventura has come under fire since taking office two years ago as the Las Vegas Township’s elected constable. His office, one of 14 in the state, is responsible for delivering legal documents and supervising evictions. Controversies include allegations of sexual harassment, jurisdictional disputes, hiring of deputies with questionable backgrounds and overstepping the authority of the office.
Bonaventura, a former state lawmaker whose father was a longtime constable, was himself arrested on suspicion of drunken driving a month ago. No charges were filed after a breath test showed he had been drinking but was under the legal limit at the time of the test.
Bonaventura later accused County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani of setting him up for the arrest, which she denied.
Giunchigliani and fellow Commissioner Tom Collins were named in court papers, saying the pair started the movement to eliminate the constable’s office.
Contact reporter Tom Ragan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5512.