Judges Vacate Bench After Probes By
Nevada Commission On Judicial
Judges should maintain the dignity
of judicial office at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance
of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. They should aspire
at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence
in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence.
- Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 10, 2014
LAS VEGAS - When it comes to bad judges,
Las Vegas has had more than its fair share.
Federal Judge Harry Claiborne was impeached by the United States House
of Representatives on July 22,1986, several other members of the Nevada
judiciary have followed in Claiborne's corrupt footsteps, but most of their
transgressions were overlooked and few have suffered any form of repercussion.
Unfortunately, their misdeeds reflect poorly on the worthy men and
women who serve us on the bench.
When a local judge violates the public's
trust in a way so brazen as to attract the attention of the Nevada Commission
on Judicial Discipline, they can be encouraged to leave the bench as was
the case with Clark County District Court Judges Steven Jones and Jackie
Glass, two names that should be familiar to long time readers of INSIDE
Within the past three years, Jones and
Glass violated the public's trust, inspired investigations by the Commission,
and left the bench under a cloud. But there's something the two ex-judges
also have in common, both judges were exposed doing favors for the Rizzolo
Jones' history: http://www.americanmafia.com/inside_vegas/3-16-09_Inside_Vegas.html
Glass' history: http://www.americanmafia.com/inside_vegas/6-21-10_Inside_Vegas.html
The Judicial Discipline Commission has
very limited powers and can only sanction a sitting judge, and has rarely
removed a judge from the bench forcibly. If a judge volunteers to
leave the bench prior to the Commission's ruling, the Commission loses
jurisdiction and cannot take action against a private citizen. This was
the case with ex-Judge Glass who resigned six months after being elected
to her third term thereby escaping public scrutiny for alleged misdeeds
on the bench.
In current Judge Steve Jones' case, on
February 3, 2014, the Commission found him guilty of violating rules of
the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct that require judges to avoid the appearance
of impropriety and conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public
confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. In the face of this decision,
Jones has stubbornly refused to resign and will continue to draw his $17,000
per month salary until the end of his term in December, though he's suspended
from hearing cases. His action inspired the Las Vegas Review-Journal
for his resignation.
Jones was first elected to Family Court
Judge Jones' troubles began on June 21,
2006 when he was arrested
for domestic battery. Then on October 30, 2012, Jones
and five others were indicted by a federal grand jury in a $3 million
investment fraud scheme. This case is still pending.
Separate from the above charges, on February
3, 2014, prosecutors proved on three counts that Judge Jones was having
a secret affair with Clark County Prosecutor Lisa Willardson between October
and December 2011. Two of the counts alleged Jones continued the relationship
with Willardson while she litigated child welfare cases before him and
he did not disqualify himself from the cases while issuing several rulings
in her favor long after they had begun to date. (On December 4, 2013, Jones
discovered Willardson dead in her home. The cause of death has not
In Judge Glass' case, on March 14, 2011,
the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline began investigating a complaint
denied arrest warrants issued against clients
of her husband Steven Wolfson's former criminal defense law firm. Evidence
indicated she squelched criminal charges against defendants represented
by her husband, then stopped a state probe of her actions by suddenly resigning
from the bench and taking a job on CBS TV as judge on "Swift Justice."
Glass was first elected to District Court
Based on solid evidence, INSIDE VEGAS on
May 30, 2011 published the confidential
Judicial Discipline complaint against Judge Glass with Exhibits.
Two weeks later on June 10, Judge Glass
shocked the legal community by resigning from the bench, this after an
8 1/2 year tenure, and less than six months after she was re-elected to
her third term.
Swift Justice was canceled near the end
of the second season due to low ratings. Glass returned to Las Vegas and
resumed her private law practice. On January 24, 2012, the Clark County
Commission appointed her husband Steven Wolfson as District Attorney.
Because of Glass' resignation from the
bench, the Judicial Discipline Commission was no longer authorized to rule
whether she violated any Code of Judicial Conduct, dropped the case, and
her record as a judge remains officially untarnished with few knowing the
But there's no doubt Jones and Glass clearly
violated RULE 2.4 of the Nevada
Code of Judicial Conduct, External Influences on Judicial Conduct (B):
"A judge shall not permit family, social, political, financial, or other
interests or relationships to influence the judge's judicial conduct or
I believe our city is a safer place without
them on the bench.
Judge Jones' mugshot
Promo from Judge Glass' failed TV show
MORE INFORMATION on "Judge" Steve Jones:
MORE INFORMATION on "Judge" Jackie Glass: