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North Las Vegas constable candidate has residency challenged

Updated August 29, 2018 - 11:04 pm

North Las Vegas constable candidate Jimmy Vega did not live in the city when he filed for office, according to a complaint filed with state and local election officials.

Former Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins submitted the complaint last week to the Nevada attorney general’s office, Nevada secretary of state’s office and the Clark County Election Department in hopes that Vega, a Republican, will be declared ineligible to run.

“You could call him a carpetbagger,” said Collins, who supports Vega’s opponent, Democrat incumbent Robert Eliason.

Nevada law requires candidates for almost all local offices to live in the jurisdiction for which they’re running for at least 30 days immediately before the close of candidate filing. Knowingly lying on the form is a gross misdemeanor. Vega said he has rented and lived in a room in a friend’s house on Journey Way in North Las Vegas since December.

He said the complaint is a way to help Eliason, who has never obtained the required peace officer certification. Vega serves as a deputy constable in Laughlin and has the certification.

“They’re just trying to deflect from the fact that Eliason is not qualified under Nevada state law,” Vega said.

Vega said he moved in with the friend when his fiancee’s mother became ill and moved into their Las Vegas home. Collins claims that when Vega filed his candidacy paperwork on March 15, his proof of residency was his driver’s license with a Las Vegas home address.

Vega also submitted a Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles application for a new driver’s license with a North Las Vegas address, but the DMV application was issued on the same day as Vega’s filing.

Nevada law requires holders of state-issued ID cards to notify the DMV of any address changes within 30 days of moving.

“He either fraudulently filed because he didn’t live there for at least 30 days, or he broke the law by not changing the address on the driver’s license in time. He can’t get out of both,” Collins said.

Vega said that he forgot to update his address with the DMV when he moved, and that he did not plan to run for the constable’s office until March when he saw that Eliason was running for re-election.

Secretary of state spokeswoman Jennifer Russell confirmed Wednesday that her office had received Collins’ complaint and is reviewing it. Attorney general’s office spokeswoman Monica Moazez declined to comment.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said his office does not have the jurisdiction to investigate the complaint.

It is too late to take Vega’s name off the ballot even if the accusations are proven true, Gloria said. However, the county would notify voters if a District Court judge were to rule Vega ineligible for office.

“The documents he has provided to us are legal and to us they are valid until proven in court otherwise,” Gloria said.

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

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