Misconduct complaints filed against two Las Vegas judges, accusations range from improper to abusive behavior

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Misconduct complaints filed

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Earlier in the week the I-Team reported that Las Vegas Judge Melanie Tobiasson had been formally accused of improper conduct as well as using her power on the bench inappropriately. 8 News Now has learned two other judges are facing misconduct accusations; District Court Judges William S. Potter and Kerry Earley are also facing formal complaints before the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.

William S. Potter, Clark County Courts

In the documents obtained by 8 News Now, state the allegations against District Judge William S. Potter in the following count:  

  • Inappropriate, offensive, and wrongful conduct against a fellow judge and other female employees; where Potter gave a patch considered of a sexual nature depicting a man with short hair and blue eyes with a ball gag in his mouth that read: “Gag, Order, Esquire.”

The complaint notes that the depiction on the patch is commonly associated with sexual bondage, domination, fetish and fantasy and that ‘gags also have connotations of punishment, control, humiliation and helplessness’. According to the complaint, the judge and other employees Potter gave this patch to found it offensive and inappropriate behavior for the workplace.

Potter was previously found in violation of codes in a complaint in 2017.

Kerry Earley, Clark County Courts

The complaint against District Court Judge Kerry Earley accuses her of misconduct on the following 5 counts:

  • Screaming and yelling at a chief judge in 2018 using abusive, harassing, demeaning, condescending, offensive and unprofessional behavior
  • Stating that she would fire her judicial executive assistant and speaking to her in a loud, abusive, and demeaning manner
  • Acting in an unprofessional manner, yelling at a judicial colleague, and stating that she would not take civil cases or move to a new courtroom when asked to do so by the then-chief justice
  • Yelling offensive profanities to her judicial executive assistant and claiming she could not trust her to keep magazines or choose correct paint and color samples for the judge’s chambers
  • Engaging in abusive, harassing, demeaning, and condescending offensive or unprofessional behavior towards other judicial employees

The complaints on Earley and Potter accuse them of misconduct and violating several Codes of the Judicial Canon including Judicial Canon 1, Rule 1.1 (failing to comply with the law, including the Code of Judicial Conduct, in not being patient, dignified and courteous and by harassing others) among other Canon violations.

Judge Melanie Tobiasson is accused of abusing her power, letting family issues influence her conduct and judgment, and failing to disqualify herself when there may have been a conflict of interest on the bench.

The commission is set to hold public hearings on the complaints, if they find the violations to be true, the commission will proceed with sanctions and disciplinary actions.

To read the complaints on the above judges you may click here to be directed to the Commission on Judicial Discipline web page.

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