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Commission says family court judge violated rules

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Updated: 12/26/2013 4:30 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Steven Jones, a Clark County Family Court judge, violated rules of judicial conduct during his relationship with a former prosecutor, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has ruled.

In a written decision filed late Tuesday, the commission found that special prosecutors proved Jones broke rules of misconduct alleged in eight of 12 counts.

The commission scheduled a Jan. 27 public hearing to determine possible sanctions against the judge, which could include suspension and removal from the bench.

Evidence against Jones was presented during a five-day hearing that ended Dec. 6. The special prosecutors argued that Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson actively litigated cases in the judge’s courtroom while they were in a romantic relationship, and that Jones failed to disqualify himself from those cases.

Commission attorneys filed a complaint against Jones in December 2012, accusing him of violating Nevada’s Judicial Code of Conduct.

Former District Attorney David Roger removed Willardson from handling child abuse and neglect cases before Jones after the relationship became public.

In November 2012, the commission suspended Jones with pay after a federal grand jury indicted him in what officials alleged was a $3 million investment scheme. He has been collecting his $200,000 annual salary since then.

Jones denied during the commission’s hearing that he was romantically involved with Willardson in late October 2011 and that he tried to interfere with Roger’s decision to move Willardson out of his courtroom.
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