By Mark Waite
To the problems plaguing the Nye County Sheriff’s Office lately — an inefficient radio system, overspending and physical exams that don’t meet state requirements — comes another one: lack of action on 8,000 court dispositions dating back eight years that weren’t entered into a state computer database.
County commissioners last week approved the emergency hire of a part-time clerk with no benefits to work weekends over a six-month period to update the dispositions.
Commissioner Joni Eastley said a court clerk who took the buyout and retired two years ago used to handle the dispositions.
Assistant Sheriff Rick Marshall said about 6,000 of the cases built up since 2010 after the number of employees in the Tonopah office was cut from five to three. Sometimes a person is arrested for 15, 16, 17 charges, Marshall said, the employee has to go to the county clerk’s office, upload the file, research the minutes of the court hearing and enter those dispositions into the system.
“There were several thousand of these dispositions that date back to 2004,” Eastley said.
Marshall said Lt. Mike Delfin in Tonopah already has an employee who will do nothing but update the dispositions on weekends when there is no walk-in traffic. The work will have to be done in Tonopah, he said that is where the records are kept.
“Our concern was to get these knocked out as quickly as possible to avoid any liability of not having the dispositions done promptly,” Marshall said.
Cali Stark, a sheriff’s deputy in the Tonopah office who supervises dispatchers and dispatches herself, said a lot of dispositions stem from District Court. Stark said she had been to the clerk’s office to review court notes on dispositions but hasn’t been to the clerk’s office herself since the county offered an early retirement buyout in 2010.
“It’s dating back to 2004 because people get a job and they realize no disposition was given to us so we can put it on their record,” Stark said.
Marshall didn’t have an answer where the $14,612 cost of the employee would come from. Comptroller Susan Paprocki said the county has a $185,000 contingency fund.
Eastley suggested Tonopah dispatchers working the graveyard shift could do the work. But commissioners passed a motion by Dan Schinhofen to grant the sheriff’s department request.