The valley has a new district attorney. The Clark County Commission appointed Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Wolfson to the post Tuesday, ending a two-month process to replace the retired David Roger. Mr. Wolfson will serve the final three years of Mr. Roger’s term.
The commission really couldn’t have gone wrong if it had selected either of the other two finalists picked by a screening committee, John Hunt or Drew Christensen. That said, the commission made the best choice. Mr. Wolfson was the best-qualified finalist for the job, with experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and many years of service as an elected steward. He also had the clearest vision for the district attorney’s office and the best plan to move it forward amid fiscal and political challenges.
Now it’s up to Mr. Wolfson to deliver on his promises. Among them: reducing the number of criminal cases filed by the office through better prioritization; getting prosecutors back into DUI and drug specialty courts; pursuing fewer death penalty prosecutions; and making personnel changes and improving office morale.
Most importantly, Mr. Wolfson must play a critical role in rebuilding the public’s trust in the Las Vegas police force by providing better oversight of officers’ use of deadly force. Mr. Wolfson has promised to have someone from his office — either a senior prosecutor or himself — respond to the scene of all officer-caused deaths; receive a verbal briefing from the sheriff within 48 hours of any incident of deadly force; and go forward with a reformed coroner’s inquest system to provide public reviews of those killings.
We’re encouraged by the fact that Mr. Wolfson is eager to start his new job. Clark County needs him to succeed.