Former bailiff Johnnie Jordan hasn't worked for embattled District Judge Elizabeth Halverson for more than a year, but his emotions are still raw.
During a Monday disciplinary hearing in Las Vegas, Jordan testified that Halverson treated him like a personal slave. An overwhelmed Jordan yelled that he had been robbed of his dignity and then broke down weeping.
"I can't stand what she did to me! My question is why?" Jordan shouted at Halverson and the seven members of the Judicial Discipline Commission. "What's it say about America? What's it say about the president of the United States? If you guys allow her to be in office after all this, what does this say about all you? This is bull crap!"
Jordan, 39, didn't hide his contempt for Halverson during the hearing. He testified at length about how she made him rub her feet and neck and wrapped her arm around him when he chauffeured her to judges' meetings. He described Halverson as a paranoid judge and said she ordered him to spy on other judges and court staff.
"I was totally uncomfortable," Jordan said.
Jordan was the first witness to testify during the Judicial Discipline Commission hearing at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Center. The quasi-judicial hearing, conducted like a trial, is expected to conclude Friday.
Halverson is accused of 14 counts of misconduct. Authorities said she created a hostile work environment, fell asleep on the bench during trials, improperly communicated with jurors and couldn't adequately conduct trials, among other accusations.
Halverson, 50, denies the charges.
The seven commission members will decide at the end of the hearing whether there is enough evidence to prove Halverson committed misconduct. The commission views Halverson as innocent until the charges against her are proven. If it finds there is enough evidence showing Halverson committed misconduct, Halverson could be taken off the bench.
Halverson, who is running for re-election, has been suspended since last summer. She has continued to collect her annual salary of $130,000.
The most striking testimony Monday came from Jordan, who worked as Halverson's bailiff for several months in 2007. He said Halverson asked him to do "demeaning" tasks, such as picking the lint off her judicial robes with scotch tape each day and asking him get on his knees and slip on her shoes.
When Jordan introduced his fiancee to Halverson, the judgetold her: "By day, he's my man. By night, he's yours," Jordan said, adding that his fiancee was so offended that she stormed away.
He also said Halverson asked him to heat her lunch using a microwave that was kept inside a bathroom. Jordan said Halverson ordered him to heat her food immediately after she used the bathroom.
Jordan also said that he often heard Halverson screaming at and berating her husband on the telephone or in person when he visited the courthouse.
She said to her husband, "I am sick of your ass. Why don't you do what the (expletive) I tell you," Jordan said.
Jordan testified that he kept complying with Halverson's demands and didn't immediately report Halverson's behavior to superiors because he believed it was part of his job.
"She was my boss. That's what I was supposed to do as a bailiff," he said.
Jordan eventually filed a complaint with the Clark County Office of Diversity, which investigates complaints of sexual and racial harassment. He said he had a heart attack and no longer works for the county as a bailiff.
Jordan also testified that Halverson asked him to shoot her husband and she told him she would dispose of his body. Jordan said he believed Halverson was serious but admitted he never reported it to police. When Halverson's co-counsel Michael Schwartz asked him why he didn't report it to authorities if he thought the request was real, Jordan replied that it wasn't in his training.
Jordan was often evasive and combative when Schwartz questioned him. Jordan refused to answer simple questions, such as whether he had medical training or if other bailiffs worked at the Regional Justice Center.
After the hearing, Schwartz said that Jordan's testimony on Monday was only one side of the story. He mentioned one instance during his testimony when Jordan said he spied for Halverson. But Schwartz pointed out that in previous testimony, Jordan said he didn't spy for Halverson.
"Can you believe anything the man is saying?" Schwartz asked.
Halverson has maintained that she has been unfairly targeted by court staff because of long-standing animosity between her and Chief District Judge Kathy Hardcastle. Hardcastle has denied those accusations.
Halverson said Monday that she plans to call more than 150 witnesses to testify even though she is given only two days -- Thursday and Friday -- to present her case. She said she is also subpoenaing 63 witnesses, including 25 District Court judges, to testify.
Commissioner Richard Wagner said Halverson can call the witnesses but he won't order that they wait at the convention center all day to testify.
At the start of the disciplinary hearing, Halverson said she filed a request before the Nevada Supreme Court asking it to halt the disciplinary proceedings because her due process was violated. The Judicial Discipline Commission members let the hearing proceed as scheduled.
Contact reporter David Kihara at email@example.com or 702-380-1039.