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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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