weather icon Mostly Cloudy

What’s next for outgoing Nye County sheriff? Maybe a seat on the bench

Updated November 22, 2022 - 11:14 am

Outgoing Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly is one of 15 candidates being considered for a vacant justice of the peace seat that county commissioners are expected to fill as early as January 2023.

The position replaces judge Kent Jasperson who died in August following a long battle with cancer.

Justices of the peace determine whether certain cases have enough evidence to be bound over to a district court for trial. They also preside over some misdemeanor, small claims, summary eviction, temporary protection and traffic cases.

The average pay for a justice court judge in Nevada can range from $61,380 to the mid-six figures. No previous experience is necessary for the position, according to Nye County Commissioner Debra Strickland, who said the appointment will last for two years until Election Day 2024.

“It does not require anything, so just about anyone can put in their name with a letter of interest or a resume. The position does not require a college degree, ” Strickland said. “[Commissioners] make the appointment by voting for the candidate that we want to put in that position.”

The new justice of the peace will be sworn in by the county clerk in January before assuming the bench.

“We’re all looking forward to seeing how this all turns out because we are really ready for some closure on this,” Strickland said.

The seat has been unfilled for more than three month’s since Jasperson’s death.

Interested candidates may submit letters of interest or resumes to become the next Pahrump justice of the peace to the Nye County Clerk’s office, 1520 E. Basin Ave., by Dec. 8, or call 775-751-7040 for more information.

Earlier this month, Sheriff Wehrly lost her bid for re-election to challenger Joe McGill by a double-digit margin. Wehrly will vacate the sheriff’s role in early January when McGill is expected to be sworn in as the county’s top law enforcement officer.

While Wehrly does not have judicial experience, it isn’t unprecedented for a member of the sheriff’s office to serve as justice of the peace. Prior to being elected to the bench in 2007, Judge Jasperson had been a deputy with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office since 1980. Lower-ranking members of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office also have filed for the open bench seat.

Among the 15 candidates for the position is chair of the Nye County Republican Central Committee William Carns, former U.S. Senate candidate William Hockstedler and District 4 Commissioner Leo Blundo, who lost his Republican primary to Ron Boskovich in June.

Strickland said the judicial appointment will appear on the agenda of the commission’s Dec. 6 board meeting for initial discussion, but it’s unclear when action will be taken to fill the seat.

“It’s my position that I’d like to have the new commissioner seated before we make that determination because District 4 won’t be represented. I don’t think that would be fair because I wouldn’t want to hear that item until after the District 4 commissioner is seated,” Strickland said. “That’s my position on that, but it all depends on what the commissioners have to say on Dec. 6.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Cortez Masto takes aim at egg prices, price gouging

Nevada’s average price for a carton of eggs has surged to $6.07 at the end of 2022, while the national average is $4.25, according to Catherine Cortez Masto’s letter.

ICYMI: See the animals at the Nature Health Farms ‘fun’draiser

Nature Health Farms was the venue for plenty of amusement this past Saturday, with a bevy of activities and entertainment taking place during the farm’s 3rd Annual “Fun”draiser.

ROAD CONDITIONS: Mountain pass from Pahrump to Vegas icy, but open

Patches of ice were still causing issues for some travelers on Highway 160 early Tuesday morning between Pahrump and Las Vegas, but conditions are expected to improve as temperatues warm into the mid-40s by Wednesday.

Student internships available at Nevada National Security Site

Nevada National Security Site is operating a 40-hour student program which offers paid internships from May through August each year. Here’s what you need to know.

What to know about this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner

This February, members of the Grand Ol’ Party will come together for an evening of conservative-likemindedness during the 2023 Lincoln Day Dinner in Pahrump.

Human-trafficking: ‘The problem is very real’

And it’s often committed by people the victim is already familiar with or those they have met and become friendly with online, say those who see the impacts of human trafficking.