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Deputy city attorney to fill municipal court vacancy

By Carla O'Day
Published: Last Updated on
scales of justice

The Reno City Council on Wednesday named a deputy city attorney to fill a vacant seat on the Reno Municipal Court during a special meeting.

Christopher Hazlett-Stevens, deputy attorney in the Criminal Division for the Reno City Attorney’s Office, will assume the role vacated by Judge Tammy Riggs. He’s been with the city since 2009.

Hazlett-Stevens’ prior work experience also includes positions with the Nevada Office of the Attorney General, Nevada Commission on Ethics and Nevada Equal Rights Commission.

The city initially had 14 applicants for the Department 4 municipal court seat, but two withdrew their names and one was disqualified, bringing the applicant pool to 11. Council members then narrowed the list to four.

Also interviewed were Steven Silva, a partner with Blanchard Krasner & French; Henry Sotelo, a criminal defense and civil litigation attorney who has his own firm; and Charles Woodman, an attorney who has his own firm and focuses on wills, trusts and probate.

Municipal court handles misdemeanors, code violations, and supervised rehabilitation for those needing treatment, among other things.

Several council members said picking a favorite candidate was tough.

Councilwoman Naomi Duerr said she would’ve been happy regardless of which candidate got the most votes.

“I hope every single one of them become a judge in our community in some respect,” Duerr said. “I really do.”

Hazlett-Stevens said he was humbled and honored to have been selected.

“I will honor this position and I will do my absolute best in this position,” he said. “I will work with integrity, with humility, and with compassion always for my fellow human being.”

Riggs resigned her seat effective Oct. 1. The seat is currently being overseen by a Pro tempore. She was elected to a 6-year term in 2016 and won a seat in November in District Court Department 3.

Hazlett-Stevens will serve until the next general municipal election, which is in 2022. He must then run for a 6-year term if he wishes to retain the seat.

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