The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has set a Feb. 12 vote on whether to ban former Family Court Judge Steven Jones from the bench for life.
Commission prosecutors in June charged the imprisoned Jones with violating the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct through his admitted role in a nearly $3 million investment fraud scheme.
Jones, 57, pleaded guilty in federal court in September 2014 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the decade-long scheme and then gave up his law license and resigned from the bench.
He is now serving a 26-month sentence at a federal correctional facility near Bakersfield, Calif., and won’t be present at next month’s hearing, though his new lawyer, Scott MacDonald, will be on hand.
Jones is scheduled to be released from prison in April 2017, and federal prosecutors are pressing to take away his state pension.
Without the lifetime ban, Jones would face an uphill battle to run for the bench again. He would need a presidential pardon, and without his law license his options would be limited to justice court or municipal court in some rural Nevada communities.
In their complaint, the panel’s prosecutors alleged that Jones by his own admission in the investment scheme 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.
Federal prosecutors also ripped into Jones at his sentencing in February for his betrayal of the public’s trust. Five other defendants, including his former brother-in-law Thomas Cecrle, pleaded guilty in the scheme.
Contact Jeff German at email@example.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ