Las Vegas Sun

December 17, 2014

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Disciplinary hearing for Clark County judge delayed 45 days

Judge Steve Jones

Judge Steve Jones

A disciplinary hearing for Clark County District Judge Steven Jones, accused of unethical conduct, will be delayed at least 45 days, the state Commission on Judicial Discipline said.

The hearing was scheduled to start today in Las Vegas before the commission, but Jones' attorney filed a petition with the Nevada Supreme Court on Friday accusing the commission of failing to follow its rules in its investigation. The petition asked for a postponement of the hearing for the court to consider these arguments.

The court issued a temporary stay of the disciplinary hearing Friday and told the disciplinary commission to file an answer by today.

Brian Hutchins, acting general counsel and executive director of the commission, said he has just been appointed to the position and could not file an “effective” answer to the complaint in two judicial days. He asked for additional time, requesting nine days, to prepare an answer.

In addition, Hutchins said the commission has issued subpoenas for witnesses for the hearing this week. With the cancelation, Hutchins said, “I believe that it will likely be no less than 45 days before a new disciplinary hearing can be scheduled.”

The complaint filed by the commission accused Jones of presiding over cases that his girlfriend, Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson, handled.

Hutchins said the commission consists of two district judges, two lawyers and three lay persons.

“Arranging a schedule around their dates is extremely difficult,” he said.

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