Carson supervisors delay justice of the peace appointment

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After two hours of public interviews on Thursday afternoon, the Carson City Board of Supervisors decided to postpone a temporary justice of the peace appointment until after the June 11 primary.

“I know that for some of you, we may have disappointed you, but I hope you actually look at it differently; you will win on your own merits. That’s really what I believe. You will win because you are the right person for Carson City,” said Mayor Lori Bagwell, who introduced the motion.

Bagwell said she had spoken with retired Justice of the Peace John Tatro, a senior judge who has been filling in for former Justice of the Peace Kristin Luis. Tatro was amenable to continue through June, Bagwell said.

The delayed appointment is for department 2 in justice/municipal court and will only last until a new justice of the peace elected this year takes office. Applicants Melanie Bruketta, Tyson League, Gene Edward Munnings and Daniel Spence were interviewed Thursday. All except Munnings have filed for election to the seat.

Bagwell argued the public should determine the best candidate in the June primary.

“I would like to posit that we have the option of re-agendizing this after the primary to determine whether we already get a winner. You might get a winner in June if they get 50 percent plus 1. We might get two that go forward (to November) because we don’t know what the results are … My first role sitting here on this particular position is that if I think that I can, I like to default to the people.”

The vote for postponement was 3-2. Supervisors Curtis Horton and Stacey Giomi voted against the measure.

Giomi worried a delay could cause problems in justice court because Tatro already has been helping out and would be extended more.

“I appreciate that Tatro will fill in, but I also know that Judge Tatro has been filling in anyway, so putting him in that department 2 seat puts us in a position where we’re still down a judge,” said Giomi.

Giomi added the delay would be a disservice “to our citizens who need justice in one way or the other — justice resolved, whether it be a civil case or criminal case.”

“My thoughts on it are we make a decision today,” said Horton.

The other supervisors worried a short-term appointment would give someone an advantage in the election.

“With all three filing to be in the election, it does make it difficult because of the potential of giving someone that added opportunity,” said Supervisor Lisa Schuette.

Bagwell said she had reached out to justice court to ensure there would be no issues if Tatro stays on until June.

The appointment was scheduled to return as an agenda item June 21.

“We can canvass the vote and do justice of the peace on the same day,” said Bagwell.


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