I-Team: Judge's Hearing Focuses on Controversial Picture - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Judge's Hearing Focuses on Controversial Picture

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File picture of Lisa Willardson File picture of Lisa Willardson
Former District Attorney David Roger testifying Monday Former District Attorney David Roger testifying Monday

LAS VEGAS -- A local judge could lose his job over accusations of an inappropriate workplace relationship.

The I-Team has followed the story of Clark County Family Court Judge Steven Jones the past two years. On Monday, a hearing into those allegation started at the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.

The controversy centers around a controversial picture.

The descriptions at the highly formal Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline were a bit more personal and racy than usual.

At issue, is whether a picture taken by a District Attorney's Office employee underneath a restaurant table is an invasion of privacy or fair game to prove the judge was lying.

The picture was taken during a party at a restaurant October 2011. It appears to show Judge Jones hand near the leg of former prosecutor Lisa Willardson.

Witnesses claim they took the photo to prove Judge Jones was in a relationship with Willardson, while she was trying cases in his courtroom.

Witnesses also say that in retaliation for the photo, Jones refused to hear any cases from multiple prosecutors at the DA's office.

Former District Attorney David Roger testified Monday how that delay affected local families.

"He had canceled an entire calendar right during the holidays. Right in December, when families were left in limbo for three weeks not knowing if they would be back together for Christmas," Roger said.

Judge Jones denies any wrongdoing. He says that by the time he and Willardson were in a relationship in November 2011, she was no longer trying cases in his courtroom.

Jones' attorney says the judge acted against the DA's employees who took the under-the table photo because it was an invasive photo of his crotch.

This issue has gone all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court before finally beginning what is expected to be a week-long ethics hearing.

This isn't the only controversy Jones is facing. He is also accused of participating in a scheme that cost investors millions of dollars.

Jones was indicted in federal court and says he is innocent of those accusations as well.

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