On Friday, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that state senator Melanie Scheible is leaving her position as a Clark County prosecutor, days after two Nevada Supreme Court justices concluded that she cannot hold both jobs simultaneously.
State Sen. Melanie Scheible, D-Las Vegas, is voluntarily leaving her job with the Clark County district attorney’s office, the senator told the Review-Journal during a short phone conversation on Friday. Scheible said she may enter private practice but is still weighing her options.
She said “a number of different factors” affected her decision to leave the office. She declined to comment further.
The two Nevada Supreme Court justices, in a dissenting opinion related to a criminal case, cited not only constitutional law, but lended viability to the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s lawsuit alleging that nine legislators are violating the Separation of Powers clause in the Nevada constitution.
The NPRI lawsuit, as reported by The Globe, alleges that nine public employees — including Democratic leaders Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro — cannot hold both elected positions and public jobs under the separation of powers outlined in Article 3, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution.
Since the lawsuit was filed, Frierson left the legislature to become the U.S. Attorney for Nevada and Cannizzaro has resigned.
Sen. James Ohrenschall (D-Las Vegas) works as a deputy public defender in Clark County. Assemblywomen Kasina Douglass-Boone, (D-North Las Vegas), Selena Torres and Brittney Miller, (both D-Las Vegas), work for the Clark County School District; and. Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert, (R-Reno), works for the University of Nevada, Reno.
The news of Scheible’s departure prompted Vice President of NPRI, Robert Fellner, to provide comment to The Globe:
“Thanks to Nevada Policy’s ongoing lawsuit, there are no longer any prosecutors simultaneously serving in the Nevada Legislature! Nevada State Senators Melanie Scheible and Nicole Cannizzaro have both resigned from their jobs as county prosecutors. Our case will continue as we try to secure a ruling on this matter as it applies to all government employees, not merely prosecutors. Nonetheless, this is a monumental development that will make the Legislature much more responsive to the public going forward, particularly on issues related to criminal justice reform.”
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