Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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Henderson may settle on city attorney choice next week

Henderson officials may select a new city attorney at a special meeting Tuesday, and several residents are already voicing concerns over the selection process.

Josh M. Reid, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s son, and the current interim city attorney Christine Guerci-Nyhus are both finalists for the position, which pays an annual salary of $126,000 to $199,000 without benefits. The last city attorney, Elizabeth Quillin, was paid $190,000 a year.

Several citizens have filed complaints to Mayor Andy Hafen and the Henderson City Council that the council may select Reid because his father may have pushed for his son’s appointment. As of Nov. 22 there were 10 complaints, all against the hiring of Reid. One suggested that Hafen should withdraw himself from the vote and another read, “Please, don’t let the ‘FIX’ be in for Josh Reid.”

Sun columnist Jon Ralston reported last month that Harry Reid had made phone calls to Henderson officials after his son applied for the position.

Hafen confirmed he received a call from the senator and said, “I know people think the fix is in, but it’s not.”

Guerci-Nyhus has about two decades of experience as an attorney, two of which were served with the city of Henderson, while Reid has 10 years of experience.

The two finalists were chosen after two days of closed-session interviews with the council and members of the city’s human resources department. Six other candidates were notified that they had not made the cut. About 45 candidates originally applied for the post.

City spokeswoman Kathy Blaha said the council may select a person for the position at the special meeting Nov. 29 or take no action.

The position became vacant when Quillin resigned in early August after a May DUI arrest. Quillin, who served as Henderson city attorney for two years, received a $99,500 severance package. The package included accrued vacation time and 10 months of insurance coverage, worth about $3,800.

The city will hold the special meeting at 240 Water St. at 5 p.m.

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