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Judge Jones seeks dismissal of federal indictment

Lawyers for suspended Family Court Judge Steven Jones filed court papers late Monday challenging a federal indictment that accuses the judge of participating in a decade-long fraud scheme.

Attorneys Robert Draskovich and Gary Modafferi want the 20-count indictment dismissed against Jones because of statute of limitation violations.

“The actions alleged in the indictment are vague, old and commingled with the innocent daily interaction family members traditionally enjoy,” the lawyers wrote. “The construction of this ten-year indictment makes a cogent defense for defendant Jones nearly impossible.”

Jones, 54, first elected to Family Court in 1992, was suspended from the bench following the November 2012 federal indictment.

The longtime judge was charged with using the power of his office to carry out a $3 million investment fraud scheme, which authorities alleged began in 2002. He pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

Jones, his former brother-in-law, Thomas A. Cecrle Jr., and four others face an array of criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. They are to stand trial March 3.

Jones also is fighting to get state judicial misconduct charges dropped against him.

He’s accused of violating the state’s Judicial Code of Conduct by mishandling a romantic relationship in 2011 with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

Last month, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline canceled a hearing on the charges after the Nevada Supreme Court intervened.

Jones’ civil lawyer, James Jimmerson, persuaded the high court to temporarily halt the proceeding while it considers claims the judicial commission violated the judge’s due process rights.

The Supreme Court has extended its stay until Aug. 16, giving both sides more time to file additional briefs.

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

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