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North Las Vegas hit with restraining order over council seat

Updated Thursday, July 14, 2011 | 6:17 p.m.

The North Las Vegas City Council was hit with yet another temporary restraining order Thursday.

This time, Clark County District Judge Douglas Smith put a hold on the swearing in of Wade Wagner.

Richard Cherchio, Wagner’s opponent in the race for the Ward 4 council seat, filed a complaint in district court to stop what he believes to be an unfair appointment.

Todd Bice, Wagner's attorney, called the complaint "last-minute desperation" in a dispute that has continued in the weeks following the June 7 general election.

“I think that once the true facts come out, this will be dispensed with rather quickly,” Bice said.

Wagner won the race by just one vote, but it was later discovered that one illegal ballot was cast.

After the City Council decided to hold a special election, Wagner filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the city had an obligation to canvas and certify the votes. District Judge Elizabeth Gonzales sided with him and called off the election.

Cherchio said Wednesday he was planning to demand a recount.

“We’re going forward with our right within the timeframe allowed,” he said.

His attorney, Bradley Schrager, said the complaint was filed to stop the city clerk from giving Wagner an election certificate.

“There is no certainty that he won the election,” Schrager said. “There is no reason he should be sworn in and being legislating.”

Wagner was supposed to be sworn in Thursday evening, but instead the city will canvas the votes and wait on a hearing next week that will determine the city’s next step.

The council canvassed the vote Thursday, but Councilwoman Anita Wood expressed concerns about efforts to comply with the judge’s orders.

“I just declared something to be true and valid that I don’t know is true and valid,” she said.

As for the council’s next move, Wood said there is little it can do from here.

“This is really a battle between the two contestants,” she said.

A hearing on the temporary restraining order is set for July 19.

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  1. I agree, there is definitely no winner and the only fair process is to allow a re-vote. Even though, it is costly to our city suffering with a negative budget.

    The Council, Ward 4 election has become a circus and confirms politics can become a cut-throat business. What we have is Mayor Buck, accusing Cherchio's camp of trying to steal the election from Wade; Cherchio, stating it would be unfair to swear Wade in as the winner and Wade is, maintaining having a legal right to the Council seat.

    It is time for all concerned to accept facts that until voters are afforded an opportunity to re-vote there will not be a true winner. It is reasonable to believe that both Cherchio and Wade would prefer to know if or not they actually won the election. Consequently, the faulty vote precludes announcement of a winner, for now each candidate have the same amount of votes. How do you break the tie? Only one solution..Back to the voters.