Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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District Court Judge, Family Division, Department K:

Beleaguered judge facing re-election

Family Court Judge Nicholas Del Vecchio campaigned eight times before being elected to the Department K bench, but after eight years, the beleaguered judge's number may be up.

Judge Del Vecchio has been accused of sexually harassing staff; taking nude photos of and having sex with his ex-wife's 14-year-old daughter; threatening to fire a judicial assistant if she stopped having sex with him; and using racial slurs.

The 51-year-old judge was subject of a week-long disciplinary hearing that was scheduled to begin last week.

His seat is being challenged by three attorneys: Ellen Bezian, 60; Cynthia Giuliani, 41, and Vincent Ochoa, 55.

Voters may recall Bezian from her role in the 2001 case of Jessica Williams, who killed six youths who were picking up trash alongside Interstate 15. She was convicted after she admitted she smoked marijuana two hours before driving her vehicle onto the median and killing the youths.

Bezian has focused on family law for the past decade and hopes to use her spot on the bench to rebuild the broken families that find themselves in her courtroom.

Giuliani is another family lawyer who is challenging Del Vecchio. She says she would bring fairness and consistency to the court, and would work to make hearing cases in a timely matter a top priority.

The third and longest-serving opponent Del Vecchio will face is Ochoa, who has been practicing law in Nevada nearly three decades. Ochoa is also a Family Court alternate hearing master who previously sat on the Nevada welfare board. He began his lengthy career in the juvenile court system, and has handled a range of family and juvenile cases. He says this experience gives him the perspective needed on the Department K bench.

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