weather icon Clear

North Las Vegas constable sues to keep his job

Updated July 12, 2017 - 10:58 pm

North Las Vegas Constable Robert Eliason is suing Clark County and the executive director of Nevada’s police standards and training board in an attempt to keep his elected office.

“It’s not just Robert Eliason’s job that’s at stake here,” Jeffrey Barr, attorney for Eliason, said Wednesday. “It’s the potential disenfranchisement of 220,000 people in the North Las Vegas township.”

Eliason, a former North Las Vegas city councilman, was elected constable in 2014. But he has been on the job more than two and a half years without getting the required Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification. Eliason made about $103,000 in salary last year, according to county records.

Nevada law requires the constables of North Las Vegas and Henderson to become certified in 18 months or forfeit their office. In that event, the County Commission would fill the vacant seat.

County commissioners considered declaring Eliason’s office vacant during their regular commission meeting last week, but voted to delay a decision for two weeks.

Eliason’s lawsuit asks the Clark County District Court to determine the county does not have authority to declare the constable’s office forfeited.

Commission caught off guard

Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who advocated for waiting to remove Eliason, was stunned to learn of the lawsuit Wednesday.

“That’s not what I was anticipating. I was hoping the gentleman had actually asserted his (Americans with Disabilities Act) rights when he should have,” she said, referring to a medical condition Eliason has claimed keeps him from passing the sit-ups test required for POST certification.

Eliason’s lawsuit claims he should have been allowed to seek a waiver from the physical requirements for certification due to a “documented neurological condition.” POST executive director Mike Sherlock, a a co-defendant in the lawsuit, refused to grant such a waiver.

An exhibit in the suit indicates Eliason requested a workplace accommodation from the county pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act sometime on or before March 6. The lawsuit states the county never made a decision regarding his request.

A county commission agenda for next week’s commission meeting includes an item to consider removing Eliason. Giunchigliani said she wants to hear the item, regardless of the lawsuit.

“My mind is made up. I know how I’ll be voting,” she said. “I think we’ve given him ample opportunity to comply with the law, and we have to do what’s called for under the law.”

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, the lone commissioner to vote against giving Eliason the two-week extension, said he is not sure the county can take action against the constable now.

“We’ll have to see what (county legal counsel) Mary-Anne Miller tells us we can do,” he said. “If we had taken action last week he would have been removed right after, but that’s not what happened.”

Conflict of interest

County Manager Yolanda King said Wednesday she expects the civil division of the District Attorney’s office will represent the county in court.

But a letter from Barr asserts the District Attorney’s office has a conflict of interest in the case because it represents both the commission and the constable’s office.

“When faced with a direct conflict of interest a prudent lawyer will withdraw and seek independent counsel for each of his or her clients,” Barr said Wednesday. “Part of the reason we have two law firms involved is to avoid the potential direct conflict of interest that the Clark County District Attorney’s Office faces.”

While Eliason is being represented by Barr, his office is represented by Chad Fears and Kelly Evans of Evans Fears and Schuttert LLP.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raging winds fan flames of wildfires in Southern California

Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shutoffs Friday to prevent equipment from sparking wildfires.