Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 2014

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NLV councilman awarded attorneys fees for fight against contested election

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that North Las Vegas City Councilman Dr. Wade Wagner is entitled to collect $68,955 in attorney fees for his legal fight over the disputed 2011 election.

The court reversed the decision of District Judge Elizabeth Goff Gonzalez, who ruled the city did not have to reimburse Wagner, a dentist.

Wagner won the general election 1,831 to 1,830 over his opponent, incumbent Ward 4 Councilman Richard Cherchio. But there was a question about a ballot cast in Ward 4 by a resident in Ward 3.

A three-member panel of the North Las Vegas City Council decided not to canvass the vote and ordered a new election. But Wagner filed suit and won a writ of prohibition, halting a new election.

As the prevailing party, Wagner sought to recover the money he paid his lawyer, but sis claim was denied in district court.

However, the Nevada Supreme Court said Thursday that Wagner's successful legal challenge benefitted North Las Vegas taxpayers. The ruling said Wagner's suit "precluded the city from conducting an improper revote; thus, it saved the taxpayers the expense of another election."

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