By Selwyn Harris
The dozens of complaints filed against the town board by local residents and members of the Nye County Central Republican Committee appear to be on the back burner for now.
The Nye County District Attorney’s Office is waiting to review the complaints leveled against three members of the town board.
District Attorney Brian Kunzi has been on vacation and has not yet had the opportunity to review all of the documents.
The complaints were filed on June 12, following a raucous town board meeting where board members successfully voted to repeal an ordinance relating to the incorporation of parts of the town of Pahrump.
Several members of the community and NCRCC devotees attempted to make a citizen’s arrest on board members who voted to abolish the ordinance. The move brought quite a bit of negative publicity to the town.
Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said that though his office takes the complaints very seriously, there are still more pressing issues in terms of other crimes within the county.
“Honestly, that’s not been a real priority for us. When you look at things the way they are, it’s not of a high priority for me. The street crimes unit’s issues over other crimes have a higher priority over this. Not that this doesn’t have a high priority, but no one was arrested. But I know they are working on it,” he said.
DeMeo noted that the day after the meeting some residents who filed a complaint went to the sheriff’s office to rescind them, which is one reason why the complaints have taken longer than expected to reach the district attorney’s office.
“People came in with complaints, people were pulling their complaints, so I don’t know all of the numbers,” he said.
The sheriff addressed the status of counter complaints that were filed by sheriff’s deputies who were threatened with citizen’s arrests as well by some members of the NCRCC who claimed the deputies did not properly perform their duties by not arresting the town board.
“When we tell someone they are under arrest, we know the implications that it has. For someone to throw those words around like confetti is irresponsible. It’s like out here, every time I turn around I hear the word corruption and it’s become such an overused term. You just can’t keep throwing these words around,” he said.
DeMeo noted that he looked over one complaint that did not meet the merits of anything remotely unlawful.
“Honestly, I saw one complaint and it didn’t meet any kind of probable cause for any type of an action on behalf of the justice system. Basically, it was someone’s feelings and they just felt that the board was wrong. There was no articulation of any crime that was committed. You can’t press charges against someone because you feel that you’ve been wronged. You have to have some type of legal backup like a law. It was more of a generalization, vague complaint that had no authority or legal standard. It’s like grabbing onto a cloud; you can see it, but you can’t touch it. It is there but it has no substance to it,” he said.
DeMeo said that the deputies who were threatened with arrest at the meeting are in the process of filing their own respective complaints against the NCRCC for false arrest.
“They are writing a complaint because you just can’t let those things go unchecked,” he said.
Pahrump Town Ordinance 46 was passed by a previous town board back in 2005.
The town board and members of the NCRCC have a strong difference of opinion on the legality of the ordinance’s origin and demise.
NCRCC President Bill Carns is a staunch opponent of incorporation; he contends the board broke laws and violated the constitution by voting successfully to repeal the ordinance.
Despite being presented with contrary evidence from Pahrump Town Attorney Bret F. Meich, who in a letter stated that the repeal was lawful, Carns remains defiant in his assertion that the board perjured themselves by breaking their oaths of office.
In a letter to the town of Pahrump last month, Carns stated that Pahrump Town Chair Vicky Parker’s attempt at causing the rest of the town board to commit perjury violated Nevada Revised Statute NRS 199.150, which is a gross misdemeanor and carries a jail term of up to one year in prison.
Carns and company have since filed a request for an injunction hearing in District Court seeking to overturn the board’s repeal.
After reviewing this filing, Meich declared it null and void and cited several defects within the document as well as procedural errors in the service process.
In a letter to Carns, Meich stated that Carns failed to undertake a reasonable inquiry into several allegations in the complaint and urged him to review the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.
Town Manager Bill Kohbarger said the town is not obligated to respond to the NCRCC’s complaint.
On Wednesday, Carns said the amended request for an injunction hearing is complete.
He pointed out a few of the changes in the new complaint.
Carns also noted that it may take at least one business week to receive a response from District Court.
“You would generally see something on the calendar for an initial hearing within about 10 days after that. We filed a summons as well so when that court date comes, they must show,” he said.