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June 23, 2021

Scattini faces two challengers in Marshal race

Two candidates will try to unseat longtime Marshal Robert
Scattini in the March 2 election.
A supervisor at the county’s dispatch office, Joseph Alvarado,
and private investigator Larry Nunes are challenging Scattini, who
has held the role for 16 years.
Two candidates will try to unseat longtime Marshal Robert Scattini in the March 2 election.

A supervisor at the county’s dispatch office, Joseph Alvarado, and private investigator Larry Nunes are challenging Scattini, who has held the role for 16 years.

The marshal, formerly called the constable, is the enforcer of the courts. The office oversees security of the county courthouse, and also serves court papers to residents.

Robert Scattini

Scattini said he’s the best man for the job because of his experience.

Aside from 16 years in his current office, he spent six years as a deputy with the county Sheriff’s Department, 17 years with the California Highway Patrol and four as county sheriff. He is also serving his first term on the Hollister City Council.

Scattini, 63, earned an associate’s degree from Gavilan College and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento.

He said he’s “extremely dedicated” to the Marshal’s Office.

“I take this job very seriously,” Scattini said. “And I don’t think either of (them) could be any more dedicated than I am.”

He said he rarely takes a day off, including weekends. And he has never called in sick or taken a vacation in his 16 years on the job, he said.

Security of the courthouse, Scattini said, is the “number one” priority. He pointed out there has never been a serious crime committed within the courtrooms.

He has met with the Superior Court judges and the court executive officer a couple of times a year to brainstorm security issues. Although he offers input, those officials have the ultimate say on security changes, he said.

“I’ll still continue to stress security in the courthouse and court complex,” Scattini said.

He also speculated on talk about consolidating the Marshal’s Office with the Sheriff’s Department – to supposedly save money. He said he believes the county is in good shape under the current system.

He pointed out he doesn’t earn benefits and only makes about $1,500 a month in salary. In total, he makes about $3,200 a month including earnings from serving fees.

Joseph Alvarado

Alvarado said he believes he is the best candidate also because of experience.

At 32, he has 14 years in the communications department of the Office of Emergency Services – also known as the county 911 dispatch.

He has also served under Scattini as a reserve deputy in the Marshal’s Office for the past 12 years.

“So I’m very familiar,” Alvarado said. “I think I’ve got a lot of fresh new ideas.”

Alvarado graduated from the Monterey Peninsula College police academy and earned a certificate in administration from Gavilan College.

His primary goal, he said, would be to improve the professionalism of the department. He also believes the security of the courthouse could be better, he said. He wants to bring in x-ray machines and metal detectors, he said.

The county doesn’t have any of that now, and he said it’s too easy for people to bring weapons into the courtroom.

Aside from his career in law enforcement, Alvarado also has co-owned a small business for five years – a charter bus company called Pacific Spirit Charters.

Regarding talk of closing the Marshal’s Office, he said, “If it was more efficient, I would have to say, ‘Why not?'” But he said he believes the $172,000 budget is “spread out pretty thin” for the services it offers.

Larry Nunes

Nunes believes he’s the best candidate because he would increase security of the courthouse, he said.

“Just how the whole nation is,” he said, “I think it could be improved. There’s equipment they’re not utilizing.”

Nunes, 54, also said he would take all money earned from serving court papers and place it in the county’s General Fund. That, he said, could lead to more sheriff’s deputies on the streets.

Overall, he said, there are many things he would change about operation of the Marshal’s Office.

For one, he said he would keep only one vehicle. Also, he believes sheriff’s deputies should not be acting as bailiffs – as they do in the upstairs courtroom. That should be left up to marshal’s deputies, he said.

He graduated from the Central Coast police academy and went on to work as a sheriff’s deputy in corrections from 1980-1983 and as an officer for the Hollister Police Department from 1983-1995.

He has also worked with the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team and now owns a local private investigation service.

Regarding the issue of consolidation, he said he “wouldn’t have a problem with it.” He said it’s foreseeable in the future.

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