Family Court Judge Steven Jones is going back on the payroll of the taxpayers.
His three-month suspension without pay over his mishandling of a romantic relationship with the late former prosecutor Lisa Willardson ends Friday, which means the judge is again eligible to receive his $200,000 salary until his term expires at the end of the year.
Jones, who is not running for re-election, now goes back to being suspended with pay as a result of his federal investment fraud indictment.
The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended Jones without pay Feb. 3 for three months after finding that he had violated professional rules of conduct by carrying on the relationship with Willardson when she appeared before him in 2011 as a deputy district attorney.
Willardson was found dead at her Henderson home Dec. 26, and the coroner later concluded she died of an accidental drug overdose.
Jones got a break from the judicial commission this week when it gave him an additional 90 days to respond to another misconduct complaint.
Attorney James Jimmerson, who had been representing Jones in his fight with the commission, has withdrawn as his lawyer, and his new attorney Sigal Chattah needed more time to get familiar with the case, according to Paul Deyhle, the commission’s executive director.
The second misconduct case, launched in 2006, includes allegations Jones was involved in several investment schemes, associated with felons, improperly handled drug evidence and once had an “intimate relationship” with a law student who worked for him.
Jones is set to stand trial in the federal case next month, but defense lawyers are moving for another continuance.
At a status check in the case Thursday, lawyers for the other defendants charged with Jones told U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. that they are not prepared to go to trial June 3 because they are still poring through the mass of evidence the government turned over in the case. Foley gave the lawyers until Monday to file a new motion to continue the trial.
The judge’s defense lawyer in the federal case, Robert Draskovich, said he opposes another trial delay.
Jones and the five other defendants, including his former brother-in-law Thomas Cecrle, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas in October 2012 in what authorities said was a $3 million investment scheme from 2002 to 2012.
In the indictment, prosecutors alleged Jones used the power of his office to further the investment scheme and intervened on Cecrle’s behalf to prevent or delay legal processes against him.
Earlier this month prosecutors said they have evidence that Jones “used his position and influence” as a judge twice in 2006 to get Cecrle released on his own recognizance in a felony bad check case, though local prosecutors had asked that he be kept in jail on no bail.
Freeing Cecrle allowed the decade-long investment scheme involving the judge to move forward, prosecutors alleged.