Death of Constable Robert Hendrickson Creates Vacancy

2/4/2013

Board to Appoint Constable to Serve through December 2014

FLORENCE – Constable Robert Hendrickson who served as Justice Precinct Constable for Oracle for the past 14 years died unexpectedly on Friday, January 25.

“Constable Hendrickson will be missed and hard to replace. During his many years of service, he developed an extensive knowledge of the people and communities we serve,” said Justice of the Peace Robert Kent who presides over the Oracle court.

The law that covers vacancies in county offices makes a distinction between whether the vacancy occurs within the first two years of an official’s term or afterwards. In the case of a mid-term vacancy that occurs after the completion of the first two years of service, Arizona Revised Statute 16-230.A.2 is invoked. This states:

If a county office becomes vacant, the board of supervisors shall appoint a person of the same political party as the person vacating the office to fill the portion of the term until the next regular general election. If the person vacating the office changed political party affiliations after taking office, the person who is appointed to fill the vacancy shall be of the same political party that the vacating officeholder was when the vacating officeholder was elected or appointed to that office.

Mr. Hendrickson was elected as a Republican so the Pinal County Board of Supervisors is accepting applications from registered Republicans for the Constable position.

To be eligible for appointment as Constable, Arizona law specifies that the following criteria be met by each potential candidate:

  • Must be a legal Arizona resident living within the Oracle Justice Court District 5 (see map at http://goo.gl/wx4ar),
  • Must be registered to vote,
  • Must be able to read and write the English language and,
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.

Interested individuals should take note of the application criteria and deadlines below.

Applications, letters of interest and/or résumés by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 15. There is no formal application to submit and any combination of a letter of interest, résumé or other documents outlining the applicant’s qualifications for office should be mailed, or submitted in person:

Sheri Cluff
Clerk of the Board
Pinal County Board of Supervisors
135 North Pinal Street
PO Box 827
Florence, AZ 85132

or

Sheri Cluff
Clerk of the Board
Pinal County Board of Supervisors
118 Catalina Avenue
Mammoth, AZ 85618

Candidates should indicate their address, party affiliation and contact information in the application.

The Board of Supervisors will meet on Wednesday, February 20 at 10:00 AM at which candidates may speak to board members about their qualifications or desire to serve as Constable. The Board members will nominate and vote on their preferred candidate on February 20 after the presentations are complete. The person selected will serve until the term ends on December 31, 2014. If the person wishes to continue serving as Constable, he or she will have to campaign for office and be elected in November 2014.

About Constables
The term “Constable” comes from the Latin comes stabuli or “count of the stables.” During the Byzantine era, the person holding this position was responsible for care and supervision of the royal court’s horses. Over time, the position became one of great military importance, gradually evolving into a position usually dealing with the enforcement of law and order.

In the United States, the office of Constable varies by state and region. Constables are elected officers of the County and must be 18 and live in the precinct or district in which they are elected. Pinal County Constables serve four year terms. The primary responsibility of a Constable is the service of process for the Justice of the Peace courts. They serve summons, injunctions, writs and orders.

Constables are classified as peace officers but do not regularly perform police functions such as patrols, arrests or investigations unless specifically certified to do so.

Title 22 of the Arizona Revised Statutes provides more detail on the duties of Constables and how they work with the Justices of the Peace and Justice Courts. See http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=22 for more information.

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