Constable employees fear losing jobs, defend office
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Going head to head on Tuesday, Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani who wants to get rid of the constables office and Constable John Bonaventura who wants to save his job.
"It's no longer working in the way that we believe it should and therefore need to abolish it," Giunchigliani said.
"They abolished the office before it didn't work and I don't think it's going to work again," Bonaventura fired back.
The move to abolish the office comes just days after Bonaventura's DUI arrest, which he said is a sham. Commissioners point to the arrest as one more reason to evaluate the function of the office.
"Maybe we're not doing the best business for the constituents and maybe in the long run there is a better way to do businesses," Giunchigliani said. She suggests Metro's civil division take over a portion of the office and perhaps privatize other duties, but Bonaventura said that has failed before.
"I can personally tell you that I spoke with Sheriff Gillespie," Bonaventura said. "He told me personally he doesn't need or want the extra work."
A Metro spokesperson said Tuesday that the Sheriff isn't commenting publicly on Giunchigliani's suggestion although the commissioner said she spoke with the Sheriff.
Bonaventura said his office is still relevant serving eviction notices in Las Vegas. Many of his 60 employees came to the meeting and some defended Bonaventura, others defended their jobs.
"The constables office is more than just a collection of desk chairs and computers," one Deputy Constable said. "There's real life human beings there."
"The actions of this Constable I cannot support, but I can support this office," another Deputy Constable said.
Whether the office continues, Bonaventura said the voters should have a say.
"If somebody doesn't like you Chris G. or you Mr. Sisolak they have the right when it comes to election time to vote against you," Bonaventura said.
The discussion will continue at the commission's next meeting where Giunchigliani said she'll introduce the ordinance.