The slow-moving Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline finally banned ex-Judge Steven Jones from ever sitting on the bench again.

Closing what it said was a lengthy and “sad chapter” in the history of the state’s judiciary, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline late Tuesday banned former Family Court Judge Steven Jones from the bench for life.

In its unanimous decision, the seven-member commission said the imprisoned Jones was “forever banned” from serving in any judicial office, either elected or appointed, in the future.

The seven-page decision strongly rebuked Jones for thwarting the panel’s decade-long efforts to discipline him over “many troubling allegations of misconduct.”

The commission said Jones and his “cadre of attorneys” delayed the disciplinary proceedings at every turn, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars..

“Consequently, the commission, one of the smallest agencies in the state of Nevada with one of the smallest operating budgets, was forced to divert an already bare-bones staff, engage outside counsel at considerable expense and exhaust limited resources and funds to legally respond to respondent’s ongoing diversionary tactics,” the panel wrote.

The only one to blame for this “spectacle of events and deceitful behavior” was Jones, the commission said.

At a hearing last month before the commission, the former judge’s latest lawyer, Scott MacDonald, described Jones as a “shell of man” and “fully and completely defeated.”

Jones’ admitted role in a nearly $3 million investment fraud scheme led to the lifetime ban.

In June commission prosecutors charged Jones with violating the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct. They alleged his admission violated “public confidence and trust in the integrity of the judiciary” and abused the “prestige” of his judicial office to advance his own financial interests.

Jones, 57, had pleaded guilty in federal court in September 2014 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the scheme and then gave up his law license and resigned from the bench. Five other defendants, including his former brother-in-law Thomas Cecrle, pleaded guilty in the scheme.

Jones is now serving a 26-month sentence at a federal correctional facility near Bakersfield, Calif. He is scheduled to be released in April 2017, and federal prosecutors are pressing to take away his state pension.

In February 2014 the judicial commission suspended Jones without pay for three months after it cited him for an improper romantic relationship with a prosecutor who appeared before him in Family Court. The prosecutor, Lisa Willardson, died of a drug overdose in December 2013. She was fired from the Clark County district attorney’s office after the relationship became public.

Jones faced a series of additional allegations of professional misconduct in a separate case commission prosecutors put together. But the commission never got a chance to hold a hearing on the allegations.

In that case prosecutors alleged Jones associated with felons, improperly handled drug evidence and once had an “intimate relationship” with a law student who worked for him.

Complaints against judges across the state are rising, but the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline is having a tough time keeping up.

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Paul Deyhle

Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline Executive Director Paul Deyhle.

By JEFF GERMAN

Complaints against judges across the state are rising, but the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline is having a tough time keeping up.

Executive Director Paul Deyhle said the commission lacks modern-day resources, manpower and in some instances authority to handle the growing caseload.

The backlog is the result of years of being underfunded and ignored within state government, he said.

This past year, the seven-member commission spent $183,300 — more than three-quarters of its budget — pursuing a single disciplinary action against former Family Court Judge Steven Jones, who fought the panel every step of the way.

For its efforts, the commission ended up giving Jones a three-month suspension without pay over his mishandling of a romantic relationship with a prosecutor who appeared before him.bad judge

It took the federal government to get Jones off the bench. He resigned in September as part of a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to a felony in a decade-long $2.6 million investment scheme.

Deyhle has big plans to get the struggling commission what it needs to go after errant judges like Jones in the future.

Judge James E. Wilson Jr. Carson City corruption

Judge James E. Wilson Jr. Carson City corruption

“We’re trying to bring the office back into the 21st century,” said Deyhle, who has been at its helm since November 2013. “Not much has been done for the commission in many, many years. It’s time.”

During a time of fiscal restraint, Deyhle has requested a 40-percent increase in his new two-year budget, bringing it up to $902,971. He wants to add an associate general counsel and a management analyst and take other long-overdue measures to improve the commission’s daily operations.

The commission, which received roughly 225 complaints against judges this year, has had only three full-time staffers, including Deyhle, to process those cases. Deyhle has doubled as general counsel.

KRNV investigates Nevada Attorney General & Carson City District Court BACKDATING SCANDAL

The new hires would eliminate the frequent need to pay expensive private lawyers to handle disciplinary cases and move the cases along quicker, Deyhle said.

His budget request also includes money to replace outdated computers and software and a telephone system installed in 1987 that can’t be updated.judge tatro scandals

It allows for the purchase of a new Internet server to store and protect commission documents, along with a new electronic case management system that should have been installed years ago. The current system isn’t supported by the manufacturer, which is no longer in business.

Deyhle said he also hopes to use the additional funds to provide more ethics training to judges around the state.

One of his bigger priorities is finding a new and larger office in Carson City. The current office is in a building with no other state agencies and sits next to a fitness center. At times during the day, the walls shake from the impact of the fitness classes and their blaring music, Deyhle said.tatro corrupt

The office is so cramped that case files have to be stacked in boxes along the walls in public view. Supplies are stored in the bathroom, and there is no conference room or place for visitors to sit, he said.

Commissioners also are forced to conduct confidential conference calls from a common office area at a staffer’s desk with the help of a plastic folding table, he added.

Deyhle’s push to beef up the office also includes seeking financial help from the Nevada Legislature in the case of an emergency.

JUDGE TATROHe has submitted a bill draft that would give the judicial commission an opportunity to draw money from a state contingency fund if it finds itself short of operating cash because of another high-profile case like the one involving Jones.

Another bill draft would more clearly define the commission’s ability to take certain action against judges and expand its authority to remove a judge without pay.

Over the past several months, Deyhle has been working hard behind the scenes lobbying for the changes.

“We’re trying to improve the operational efficiency of the office,” he said. “We’re trying to effect a positive change, so the commission can better carry out its constitutional and statutory mandates. It’s not unreasonable.”

SOURCE: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/judicial-discipline-commission-hopes-add-staff-caseload-grows

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter.

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Judicial Ethics Complaint filed against Carson City Judge John Tatro by Ty Robben

nv judicial ethics

Judicial Ethics Complaint filed against Carson City Judge John Tatro by Ty Robben

Commission Case No. _______________________
(For Commission use only)
Carson City Judge John Tatro

Carson City Judge John Tatro

NEVADA COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE

VERIFIED STATEMENT OF COMPLAINT

Part I: General Information

Date of This Form: April 06, 2013

Name of Person Completing This Form:  Ty Robben

Mailing Address of Person Completing This Form: CONFIDENTIAL

Daytime Telephone Number To Contact You: CONFIDENTIAL

Part II: Specific Information Regarding Complaint

Name of Nevada Judicial Officer (Only One Name Per Complaint Form): John Tatro.

Name of Court or Judicial District Involved:  Carson City Justice Court.

Case Number (Please Include All Letters and Numbers): 12-5139

This Case Is (Select One): _Pending In Trial Court On Appeal Not Pending or Closed

Nature of Complaint (Select One):   I Have Used The Standard Complaint Supplementary Form

Code of Judicial Conduct Section(s) Violated, If Known [(Example: Canon 3B(4)]:

Canon 1 Rule 1.1ComplianceWith the Law. A judge shall comply with the law, including the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Canon 1 Rule 1.2  PromotingConfidence in the Judiciary. A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Canon 1 Rule1.3 Avoiding Rule Abuse of the Prestige of Judicial Office. A judge shall not   abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others, or allow others to do so.

Canon 2 Rule 2.2 Impartiality and Fairness. A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and shall   perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.

Canon 2 Rule 2.3 Bias, Prejudice, and Harassment.

Canon 2 Rule 2.6 Ensuring the Right to Be Heard.

Canon 2 Rule 2.9 Ex Parte Rule Communications.

Canon 2 Rule 2.11 Disqualification.

Canon 2 Rule 2.14 Disability and Impairment. A judge having a reasonable belief that the   performance of a lawyer or another judge is impaired by drugs or alcohol, or by a mental, emotional, or physical condition, shall take appropriate action, which may include a confidential referral to a lawyer or judicial assistance program.

Canon 2 Rule 2.16 Cooperation With Rule Disciplinary Authorities.

carson city courthouse

carson city courthouse

STANDARD COMPLAINT SUPPLEMENTARY FORM (STATEMENT OF FACTS)

The following is my explanation as to why the judicial officer named in this complaint has violated the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct or suffers from a disability.

I am [select one]: [X] one of the litigants

The judge did the following things that I believe constitute misconduct (please be as specific as possible about the event or action and attach additional pages, if required).

nevada crime scene

I am writing this judicial ethics compliant against the very, very corrupt and impaired Justice of the Peace (“JP”) John Tatro of the Carson City Justice Court. “JP Tatro is not a well man.” Says my lawyer William Routsis recalling an episode of JP Tatro yelling, frothing at the mouth and lunging over the bench at Mr. Routsis. The incident was caught on the court audio/video. JP Taro has a long history of judicial complaints and violations of the Judicial Code of Conduct (“NCJC”) including a similar complaint in 2006 against JP Tatro by activist Tonja Brown. Ms. Brown and I are both ANTI Corruption activists in Carson City, NV and have protested against the Carson City courthouse. Both of us have had negative experiences with courthouse Department of Alternative Sentencing (“DAS”) $$ A FOR PROFIT ENTERPRISE $$  The DAS is also known as the (“KGB”). Ms. Brown was abused and arrested by the DAS for alleged “trespassing” into the courthouse to refresh herself! The courthouse is a public building.

Judge Tatro Carson City Corruption

Judge Tatro Carson City Corruption

Both Ms. Brown and I have protested and filed complaints against JP Tatro for his flagrant disregard for the law, the constitution and the NCJC as well as using DAS and the Justin Brothers Bail Bondsmen and their “Bounty Hunters” to illegally cross the State line into So. Lake Tahoe, CA and acting in concert with DAS and JP Tatro to act under the color of law and “serve a warrant” for the Carson City, Nevada, Justice Court JP John Tatro and his DAS – illegally and with callous and total disregard for the law and my rights and the rights of others in the State of California.

Judicial ethics complaint filed against Justice of Peace Tatro

Geoff Dornan –  Appeal Capitol Bureau Continue reading

Director of Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline David Sarnowski retiring

nv judicial ethics

David Sarnowski, general counsel and executive director of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, is retiring after 32 years in state service. Sarnowski has been in his present post for 11 years and said he doesn’t know what he will do after leaving state government June 30, 2013. His retirement was disclosed at a meeting of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on Friday.

The commission will select a replacement for the job, which pays $137,145 a year.

tatro judgeWe’re reviewing Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline and previous complaint against Carson City judges like 2006 Nevada Appeal Judicial ethics complaint filed against Justice of Peace Tatro. Look for new complaints against Judge Tatro to be filed and shown here ASAP. We see “Judge” Tatro abusing his “authority” by acting under the color of law and  committing “crimes against humanity and public decency”.

Why in the world does the Nevada Supreme Court allow these so called “judges” (Tatro has no law degree) to act in this manner when they are trying to convince taxpayers to support a new Intermediate Appeals Court in Nevada?

A Carson City woman who previously accused bailiffs at the capital’s district court of violating her rights, manhandling, and injuring her during an arrest has filed a complaint with the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline accusing Justice of the Peace John Tatro of bias.Tonya Brown last month lost her lawsuit in federal court against the city and the bailiff who arrested her for trespassing.Brown said she believes Tatro was biased against her in her justice court trial on the trespass charges in which she was convicted. She said Tatro’s comments were so biased that, during her federal court civil-rights trial, …

Carson City Judge Tatro

Carson City Judge Tatro

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