North Las Vegas refuses to foot the bill for lawsuits Councilman Wade Wagner and former Mayor Mike Montandon filed against the city in June over a new election. Wagner is asking for more than $72,000 in attorney’s fees. Montandon, along with North Las Vegas resident Jay King, claims the city should pay $40,000 for a joint lawsuit that halted a special election in Ward 4.
Wagner won the Ward 4 general election against former Councilman Richard Cherchio by a single vote. The Clark County Elections Department later found one invalid vote. The Council voted to hold a new election in Precinct 4306, where the one invalid vote was cast, which prompted Cherchio to sue the city, joined later by Montandon.
According to court documents, North Las Vegas has filed an opposition to Wagner’s request, stating that the Council had the right to vote for a new election and that Wagner’s attorney, Todd Bice, stated in open court that he was “not getting paid” and was representing him because he “believed in the cause.”
The city also claims Wagner’s request is “absurd” because a special election would have only cost taxpayers $2,000, instead of the $72,000 and more Wagner is asking for. Bice said that although he was working pro bono, it doesn’t mean Wagner cannot seek to recover attorney’s fees.
“We will seek them for having to deal with this. They are the ones who caused this,” said Bice. “The city did not have the legal authority to deprive him of the office.”