North Las Vegas Councilman Wade Wagner won a legal judgment against the city Tuesday, collecting more than $70,000 in court-awarded legal fees to defray the cost of a three-year legal battle over his disputed 2011 election.
First-term Republican Wagner, who won his council seat by a single vote over incumbent Democrat Richard Cherchio, first took the city to court in June 2011, filing a lawsuit meant to block a planned special election aimed at settling Ward 4’s closely fought municipal race.
The city, faced with questions about a Ward 3 ballot mistakenly cast in Ward 4, had opted to hold a special election in lieu of recounting contested votes in Precinct 4306.
Wagner, who had already agreed to a recount, sued days later, arguing the city didn’t have the legal right to do anything more than canvass and recertify his narrow Election Day victory.
That lawsuit was upheld more than two years later by the Nevada Supreme Court, which found the councilman’s legal action “precluded the city from conducting an improper revote,” and saved city taxpayers the expense of holding a special election.
The December 2013 Supreme Court ruling reversed and remanded a District Court decision handed down by Judge Elizabeth Goff Gonzalez.