Judge Defends Himself in Discipline Hearing - 8 News NOW

Judge Defends Himself in Discipline Hearing

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LAS VEGAS -- A local judge defended his relationship with a former prosecutor before the Judicial Discipline Commission Thursday.

Family Court Judge Steven Jones testified that he was "exceedingly offended" when he found out a deputy district attorney took a picture of him underneath a restaurant table.

He banned that deputy DA and others who spread that photo, setting up a showdown with the district attorney himself.

State prosecutors say he allowed his girlfriend, former prosecutor Lisa Willardson, to try cases in his courtroom.

Both Jones and Willardson say they did not start a relationship until after she stopped trying cases in his courtroom.

David Roger, who was serving as District Attorney at the time, fired Willardson on suspicion of the relationship after his employees took a picture which appears to show Jones' hand near Willardson's knee at a restaurant.

"I'm sitting at a table. I have every expectation of, of privacy and I was, I did not expect anybody to then turn around and start putting photos at their crotch to take pictures of my crotch and then use that as a basis to then disseminate rumors," Judge Jones said.

Judge Jones admitted Thursday he made mistakes in how he acted with former District Attorney David Roger.

Roger testified earlier this week that Judge Jones tried to offer a deal to him. The deal was for Roger to rehire Willardson. In return, Jones would lift a ban he placed on a number of DA employees appearing in his court.

Roger refused the deal and the stalemate delayed multiple family court cases.

State prosecutors will get to ask Judge Jones questions Friday morning. The ethics commission is expected to make a decision within 20 days.

Judge Jones also faces a federal indictment on separate financial fraud charges. He says he is innocent of those charges too.

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