Nevada Commission Finds Judge Guilty In Unethical Relationship With Prosecutor

gavel2Nevada Suspended Family Court Judge Steven Jones has been found guilty of unethical conduct in his romantic relationship with former Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson. Willardson appeared before Jones. Jones was also accused of retaliating against two deputy district attorneys who helped expose his relationship but that charge was not proven.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline found that special prosecutors had proven “by clear and convincing evidence” eight of the 12 charges they filed against Jones. His punishment will be the subject of a Jan. 27 public hearing and could include removal. on a wide range of possible sanctions including another suspension and removal from the bench.

Investigators found 2,500 text messages between Jones and Willardson through Dec. 15 in one year. This also included emails from Willardson where she says Jones is “freaking hot.” Jones also denied being romantically involved with Willardson in late October 2011. He and Willardson testified that they didn’t start thinking they were in a relationship until Thanksgiving, when they spent time together with Willardson’s family in Utah.

This is not Jones’ first controversy. First elected in 1992, he was suspended by the commission following a November 2012 federal fraud indictment. Yet, he has been receiving his $200,000 annual salary and is up for re-election in 2014.

Putting aside the fraud charge (and he has a right to be presumed innocent), I believe the record warrants removal. What do you think?

Source: Review Journal and ABA Journal

11 thoughts on “Nevada Commission Finds Judge Guilty In Unethical Relationship With Prosecutor”

  1. His mistake was going to Utah to pork. He went beyond the Pale. What plays in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But, if all he did was hump her leg and pant a little bit, its no harm. There is no litter in the offering is there? Now that would be different.

  2. Judges in Connecticut could be found of unfair sentencing based on race if anyone took the time to notice…

  3. The credibility of the justice system is not worth diminishing for this one judge. He should be removed from office.

  4. Removal would be the just punishment. But, attorneys, cops, docs, etc. take care of their own. Vegas[this is Nevada] has the odds 4-1 he won’t be removed.

  5. Yes, he most certainly needs to be removed. Unethical people should not be above the law, so to speak. It’s not illegal to cheat on your wife, but the undue influence the Prosecuter may have had on his decisions, whoa.

  6. Ms. Willardson was found dead at her Henderson, NV home that evening by Judge Jones – an apparent suicide. She had recently filed to run for a judicial position with the family court system.

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