The charges are not criminal, but allege the judges violated the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct.
Municipal Court Judges Catherine Ramsey and Sean Hoeffgen will have the opportunity to respond to the charges and could face a variety of potential discipline ranging from a letter of reprimand to removal, or possibly be cleared of all charges.
Ramsey is charged with six counts of judicial misconduct. According to the charging document, she used her city purchasing card to pay for a lawsuit, made her assistant do her personal errands, and amended charges in cases against the wishes of both the defense and the prosecutor.
According to the charging document, Ramsey “generally created or fostered an atmosphere of fear and apprehension for the clerks, marshals and her (judicial executive assistant.)”
Hoeffgen is charged with four counts of misconduct, including letting Mayor John Lee influence his decisions involving the court.
According to the charging document, in summer 2013 Hoeffgen decided to go back on an agreement with Ramsey to let her become chief judge, in part, because he believed Lee wanted him to continue on as chief judge. From that point on, Hoeffgen refused to cooperate with Ramsey and “has taken positions or made decisions or allowed it to appear that he has taken positions or made decisions, regarding the administration of the Court which were improperly based on his perceived desires of the North Las Vegas Mayor or City administration instead of the best interests of the Court,” according to the charging document.