Discipline Commission Deliberating Judge's Fate - 8 News NOW

Discipline Commission Deliberating Judge's Fate

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LAS VEGAS -- The ethics case involving a Clark County Family Court judge is now being considered by the Judicial Discipline Commission.

The ethics commission is now acting like a jury with the future of Judge Steven Jones career in its hands.

State prosecutors alleged two things during the week-long hearing. First, that Judge Jones had a relationship with former prosecutor Lisa Willardson before they went public.

Second, that Judge Jones retaliated against the district attorney when he fired his girlfriend.

Judge Jones took the stand in his defense Friday.

Prosecutors pointed out that the judge and Willardson traded 2,500 text messages in the time before they say they were in a relationship.

Prosecutors read aloud one email from Willardson where she told Judge Jones he was "so awesome and hot" just after she tried a case in his courtroom.

Prosecutors asked Jones on the stand what he felt when the district attorney fired Willardson after a now infamous under-the-table photo was taken at a party.

"Isn't the real reason that you got so upset is that you thought that you could trust the people at that party to keep your relationship hush-hush with Ms. Willardson?" special prosecutor Kathleen Paustian asked the judge during Friday's hearing.

"Absolutely not," Jones replied, "There was nothing I did, with respect to the contact I had with Ms. Willardson, that was ever secretive."

Jones denies the allegations. His attorneys say this is all part of a gossip and rumor campaign inside the District Attorney's Office.

The ethics commission says they expect to have its decision by Dec. 16. The panel could do anything from clearing Jones to giving him a written warning to removing him from the bench.

Judge Jones was already suspended from the bench. He faces a federal indictment on charges of being part of a multi-million dollar financial fraud. Jones says he is innocent of those separate charges.

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