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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 18, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 18, 1997

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Nye County animal ordinance JACKLEG DRILLING-This contestant in the Barrick Bullfrog Mine mining contest makes handling the 105 lb. drill and steel bit look easy. The Beatty mine also sponsored a Hand Steeling and Spike Driving contest at the Harvest Festival on Saturday. photo by Patti Babcock Commissioner served in lawsuit BEATTY--Ira "Red" Copass was served a summons to appear regarding a lengthy, on-going lawsuit against Nye County at Tuesday's commission meeting Sept. 16, in Beatty. He was served at lunchtime near the men's room in the back of the meeting hall where only a few onlookers could observe what was happening. Rumors were spreading after the meeting thatCopass had been served with lawsuit papers regarding a sexual harrassment problem and a recall petition. All sources indicate, at this time, that this is not true, but a recall petition action may be forming against some of the commissioners by some citizens in Pahrump. The lawsuit in which Copass was summoned to give an appearance is a complicated one initiated as early as 1983. It volves a company called Advanced Health Systems (AHS) that Nye County hired to run Nye Regional Hospital in Tonopah. Nye County terminated its relationship with AHS and a breach of contract lawsuit was filed. Complications arose with all the attorneys involved and counterclaims were filed. It is much too complicated to give a good explanation as to what the lawsuit is all about in this small space. For those readers wishing a fairly comprehen- sive explanation, you can refer to Blent Mathewson's col- umn, "Acker lawsuit shows the ugly side of Nye," dated June 19, 1997 in the P.V. Gazette When questioned about the service on Tuesday, Copass replied that he told Rachel Nicholson (Nye County manager' s special assistant) about it. Copass said that she told him not to worry about the lawsuit, that it was too late to serve him, that he should have been served in April, and that she would take care of the matter for him. "I don't know a damn thing about it," Copass said. "It (the lawsuit) was over before I was even elected (commissioner). by Mary Ann McNeill Gazette Staff BEATTY--In a 3 to 1 vote Tuesday September 16, the Nye County commissioners did away with the pending Bill 97-08, Nye County Animal Ordinance, which had received many negative public comments in recent weeks. So many people traveled to Beatty to comment on the ordinance that discussion was carried over from the 11:15am agenda item to continue after the luncheon recess. Commissioner Cameron McRae led the discussion by trying to give a brief history of the bill. He said that many people had a misconception of the ordinance. What he originally wanted to do was to remove animal control from being a county function, be said, but what the rest of the board wanted to do was consolidate all laws and make animal control pay for itself from revenues generated. He said that it was not Clark Wheeler's ordinance. First to speak was Diane E. Knudsen, who said she is a government process consultant and received about 30 to 40 calls from people asking her to investigate the bill and to represent them in opposition of it. She said that the commission does not have the authority to "go against state laws" and that this bill does so in several places. She said, "We can't allow one person to enter private property with a search and seizure order without due process. We can't expect the sheriff s office, with its limited capacity, to enforce this." "I caution the board to look at this very carefully under the open range laws," she said, offering her staff s services. Pahrump citizen, Paul Newell, said he "just represented the people of Nye County," and that 1,986 signatures were collected in opposition to the bill. He said over 400 more were sent to Commissioner Davis in Tonopah to bring to the meeting. (Davis was absent from the meeting.) McRae interjected, "I like my idea to just let the towns rule themselves (regarding animal control) more and more." Nye County Humane Society representative, June Frye, said, "It is my understanding that this is mainly to raise money Continued on page 4 I don't even remember the years they ran the hospital. Rachel said the lawsuit is over and done with now." The counterclaims in question are, in fact, still pending and most others listed on the claim were served papers in May. Those listed in the lawsuit are Nye County and the Nye County Commissioners at the time, as a whole and as indi- viduals. The reason Copass was not served with the summons along with the others was that the special legal counsel that Nye County hired, Tom Beko, refused service for Copass, according to Evan Acker, plaintiff and attorney in the case. Acker, when informed by the PVG that the assistant to the county manager, Rachel Nicholson, had advised Copass to ignore the summons because a time limitation had been exceeded, responded, "I hope he ignores it, if he does he will be in default."