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Henderson has no plans to discuss status of city attorney for now

For the next few months, people aren’t expected to see Elizabeth Quillin in her usual seat at the Tuesday night Henderson City Council meetings. The 51-year-old city attorney, who was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence, is taking vacation time and sick leave while at a rehabilitation center.

“I would like to apologize to the mayor, City Council, my colleagues, family and friends for my misconduct and assume full responsibility for my actions,” Quillin said in a statement May 25. ”I am seeking immediate treatment from an inpatient facility and ask that I be allowed this time of privacy in order to address my underlying illness.”

During the workday, police said Quillin crashed her Lexus and nearly ran into a nearby passenger May 23 on Paseo Verde Parkway and Carnegie Street.

Bud Cranor, spokesman with the city, said there was no reason to believe that she wasn’t on duty when she was arrested.

Upon her encounter with the Henderson Police Department, officers said they discovered that Quillin had been drinking and had a half-empty bottle of wine in her possession. Quillin’s blood-alcohol level was 0.281 percent at the time of her arrest. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

It was 3:57 p.m. when Quillin was booked at the Henderson Detention Center.

Less than 12 hours later, she was released on her on recognizance and placed on paid administrative leave.

Since then, her leave has transformed into vacation time and sick leave.

“It is about a month and a half of time she has earned,” Cranor said. “It’s the time she has earned while working with the city.”

Cranor was unsure exactly when that time would be up.

On June 20, Quillin entered a not guilty plea to her charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident and having an open container in her car. She did not attend the hearing.

At the hearing, Judge D. Lanny Waite, from the Moapa Valley Justice Court, ordered Quillin to refrain from using alcohol.

According to David Hayward, the court administrator, the Henderson judges recused themselves and appointed Waite to preside over the case. Hayward said this is normal procedure when there is an issue such as this one.

Waite also said Quillin would have to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors whether she has any alcohol.

As the city attorney, Quillin’s duties included being a legal adviser for the city, interpreting the law for the City Council.

Her duties are being passed on to Christine Guerci-Nyhus, who is serving as acting city attorney.

According to Cranor, the city has not talked about replacing Quillin while she is on leave.

“There are no discussions while she is seeking treatment,” Cranor said.

Her trial date is slated for 9 a.m. Sept. 27.

Contact Henderson and Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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