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County wasn’t told about official’s certification failure for over a month

Updated February 21, 2024 - 9:15 am

Clark County is seeking someone to fill the Mesquite constable’s office after the former official failed to complete required training within a year of taking office.

County commissioners voted against abolishing the office during their meeting Tuesday and will instead appoint someone to fill the office until a new constable is elected in November.

The office became vacant on Jan. 2 after Constable Duane Thurston failed to complete mandatory Peace Officer Standards and Training certification within a year of being sworn into office.

The county was not notified of Thurston’s failure to obtain the certification until Feb. 14. State law requires the the position be filled within 60 days of the vacancy, but the county will instead use the February notification date as the start of that 60-day period.

Thurston, who was present at the meeting, told commissioners that he had tried to get certified two separate times. He failed the physical portion of the certification during the first attempt and was unable to pass a test portion during his second attempt because of a learning disability, Thurston said.

Thurston said he asked the board if he was able to get some of the test materials to study ahead of time because of his disability but was told it wouldn’t be fair to others taking the test.

Mike Sherlock, the executive director of the certification agency, said Thurston did not attend the state agency’s academy but rather a third-party academy — which are administered by law enforcement agencies or through a college program.

“We do not determine whether there is a need or availability of a reasonable accommodation or interpret specific disability as that is an employer issue and not part of an academy certification process,” Sherlock said.

Thurston served as Mesquite’s constable since 1994 and was reelected in 2022. He took office in early January 2023.

Commissioners could only listen to Thurston’s explanation. State law automatically vacates the office when a constable does not complete POST training within a year.

Constables carry out evictions, serve civil court papers and process abandoned vehicle complaints, among other duties.

The POST commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on X.

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