86°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Department 14

A former prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney is challenging a first-term Las Vegas justice of the peace. Both the incumbent for Department 14, Conrad Hafen, and one of his challengers, Amy “JoAnne” Chelini, cited years of experience in the legal field as qualifications.

A third candidate, Phung Horton Jefferson, did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story.

“We want our judges to have experience,” Hafen said. “We want our judges to know the law. We want our judges to balance justice and mercy. And I possess those three qualities.”

Chelini, who worked for the Clark County district attorney’s office before starting her own practice, pointed to “overwhelming support in the community” and backing from 26 different organizations, including police, unions, fire and veterans groups. She said she can do a better job than Hafen. She said her opponent is often too quick to throw people behind bars.

“I think that department is lacking in common sense,” Chelini said. “And that’s something I can definitely bring to the bench. If you don’t have common sense, it’s real easy if you just throw everybody in jail.”

Hafen, who was elected to the seat in 2010, disagrees. “Over the last six years, I have been tough on crime, but very, very fair,” he said. “When individuals don’t do their requirements and don’t stay out of trouble, I’m going to send them to jail. If someone is making an honest effort, I’m going to give them an opportunity to make good on that.”

“I prefer to keep the jail for the violent criminals, not the petty offender who is short on community service,” she said. “It’s just a difference in philosophy. … Don’t make me seem light on crime. Because I’m not. Bad guys, they’re staying in.”

Hafen proudly touts one campaign pledge: “I’m the only judge who refuses to take money from lawyers.”

Jefferson’s campaign website states that she “intends to serve the people of Clark County with pride” and is “highly regarded for her honesty, integrity, and ability to weigh both sides of an issue with fairness”

She served three years as a small claims referee for the Las Vegas Justice Court, the site states.

Under a contract with the city of Las Vegas, she represented participants in a Women In Need specialty court program.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find @randompoker on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Week in Pictures: April 28-May4

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival, Pirate Fest, weather and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Children play inside a hot air balloon provided by Las Vegas Balloon Rides during the Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival on Saturday, May 4, […]

Week in Pictures: April 21-April 27

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs, Raiders draft and WBA lightweight championship bout. The Meadows School third baseman Sam Kaplan looks in a high ground ball during fielding practice, he will play at Cornell University next year on Wednesday, April 24, […]

Week in Pictures: April 14-April 20

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. The Pink Moon, the nickname for April’s full moon, is not pink at all but yellow and sets in the west behind the Raiders Stadium early on Friday, April […]

Week in Pictures: March 17-March 23

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Vegas Golden Knights, Cesar Chavez Day festival, prep baseball and El Cortez shooting. Brooklyn Ruiz, 10, center, of Redlands, Calif., jumps out of the pool while playing with her cousin, Analyce Lopez, 11, of Redlands, Calif., left, and […]

Week in Pictures: March 10-March 16

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including the West Coast Conference tournament, the Mountain West tournament and the Pac-12 tournament. The Stanford Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Oregon Ducks during a NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 women’s tournament at the […]

Week in Pictures: Jan. 14-20

Take a look at some striking pictures from Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including weather features, a boxing match and the super blood wolf moon. Ronald Holmes plays the alto saxophone on The Strip as dark clouds move in on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. Clouds, rain and snow are expected in […]

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]