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North Las Vegas constable seeks to nullify law that could oust him from office

Updated November 6, 2017 - 7:55 pm

The North Las Vegas constable suing Clark County to keep his elected position is asking the county’s District Court to nullify the state law that could oust him from office.

In a new court filing, Robert Eliason’s attorneys claim that requiring certain townships’ constables to obtain a state law enforcement certification violates Nevada’s constitution and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The amended complaint, filed Thursday, drops Mike Sherlock, executive director of the Nevada Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, as a defendant but keeps the POST commission and the county.

“This is no longer about a person or organization,” Eliason’s attorney Jeffrey Barr wrote in a statement. “The statute is flawed and needs to be addressed by the courts in order to prevent the kind of disruption we narrowly avoided this summer.”

In July, county commissioners considered replacing Eliason for violating NRS 258.007, a state law enacted in 2013 that requires constables of some townships to become POST-certified in 18 months or forfeit their office. The discussions prompted Eliason to sue.

Eliason has spent almost three years in office without becoming certified; his attorneys say this is because of a neurological condition that prevents him from completing a situps test.

Eliason’s attorneys claim only the courts, not the county commission, can declare his office vacant by forfeiture. District Judge Elissa Cadish has granted a temporary restraining order keeping the constable in office.

Eliason’s amended complaint specifically targets NRS 258.007, saying the law, which “prohibits the legislature from passing local or special laws regulating the duties of the constables,” violates Nevada’s constitution because it does not apply to all townships.

Only North Las Vegas and Henderson are included because of their relatively large populations.

The complaint also claims the law runs afoul of the federal disabilities law because it excludes Eliason from holding his office because of his neurological condition.

Eliason applied for an ADA workplace accommodation with the county’s Office of Diversity in March.

The county’s response, sent June 30, was revealed in a new exhibit accompanying Thursday’s complaint. The county determined that although Eliason was disabled, he didn’t qualify for a workplace accommodation because he didn’t receive POST certification.

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

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