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Editorial Thumbs

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By The Staff

thumb UP for ... CLEARING UP THE PROBLEM. District Judge Eugenio Mathis has stepped down as chief judge, who is in charge of assigning caseloads. This move was precipitated by a state Supreme Court decision.

Last year, Mathis married his assistant, Michelle Pino, and that concerned the state Supreme Court. Our review of the state court system’s nepotism policy doesn’t address a situation in which a supervisor married someone who is already employed. So a case could have been made that Mathis and Pino were technically in compliance with the rules.

But the Supreme Court rightly determined that the situation didn’t look good. It required that Mathis not supervise Pino. As such, she moved to a position in the court clerk’s office, but the chief judge is in charge of that department. So Mathis stepped down from the higher office, remaining as a district judge. Matt Sandoval is the new chief judge.  

Mathis has been a fine judge for the Fourth Judicial District. We’re glad that the state Supreme Court stepped in to clear up this problem.

thumb UP for ... POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. The recent filming of “Paul” in Las Vegas appears to have been a good experience for downtown merchants. The reviews of the crews have been positive, and all the merchants on Bridge Street reportedly received compensation for their sacrifices.

The movie crews took down the banners on Bridge during filming, but put them back up when it was finished. To improve a scene background, they also restored the missing “r” from the first word in Popular Dry Goods.

A month before, merchants loudly complained about the movie industry’s lack of respect for the community during filming. This debate eventually reached the pages of the Los Angeles Times.

Maybe this publicity gave the movie business a wakeup call. Whatever the case, we’re glad that “Paul” crews were friendly and cooperative.

thumb UP for ... ON TRACK. The Police Department swore in four new officers last week and plans to bring four more in the weeks ahead. Then the eight will go the state law enforcement academy, where we hope they will excel.

With the eight, the department will be fully staffed. This is an unusual position to be in. Maybe it’s the result of a tight job market.

Chief Gary Gold wants to put the four new names before the council later this month. The really good news is that he reports that he has five solid job applicants. That’s a far cry from other rounds of hirings.

This means the department will have to reject one of the five. But let’s keep that person in mind the next time a position opens up.

• • •

AND WE QUOTE

“I don’t know what’s going on in the department now, but I hear a lot. I’m not here to bash, but something is going on and somebody needs to look into it.” — Former interim Las Vegas Police Chief William Cruz, during a forum on alleged police misconduct.