STATELINE - The director of Douglas County's juvenile detention center has announced he will seek the Tahoe Township Justice of the Peace position that Steven McMorris is leaving.
Ray Finnegan, 51, said Wednesday he will file for election to the post. McMorris plans to retire and move to Genoa when his term ends in December.
Finnegan is one of several people rumored to be interested in the job. He said McMorris encouraged him to run, and several Tahoe Township residents have expressed support for his candidacy.
Finnegan has been heading the detention center since it opened in 1998. Prior to that, he was a juvenile probation officer for Douglas County.
He moved recently to Stateline.
Finnegan began his law enforcement career as a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in 1970 and says his experience will be an asset to being a justice of the peace.
Justices of the peace preside over justice courts, hold preliminary hearings to determine if gross misdemeanor and felony-level cases should go to trial in district court, hear traffic and small claims cases and handle misdemeanor criminal cases.
"I have been in most situations that the justice of the peace is expected to rule upon," said Finnegan. "Having experienced firsthand those situations gives me the insight and awareness that most people never get an opportunity to be exposed to."
The official filing period is May 1-15. The Tahoe Township Justice of the Peace job is one of 11 county-level offices open for election.