Judge apologizes, agrees to take ethics class over 2004 donations

District Judge Lee Gates publicly apologized for making improper political donations in 2004 and agreed to take an ethics class during a Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission hearing Thursday in Las Vegas.

Gates, who is not running for re-election, agreed in February to make the apology.

Gates’ lawyer, Tom Pitaro, declined to comment after the hearing, and Gates couldn’t be reached for comment.

Dorothy Nash Holmes, special prosecutor for the Judicial Discipline Commission, said Gates read an admission of guilt, made a public apology and agreed to take an ethics class at the National Judicial College at his own expense.

The commission complaint accused Gates of improperly making a $5,000 campaign contribution to Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Karen Bennett-Haron and a $5,000 campaign contribution to Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas.

Gates made the contributions from money remaining from his 2002 re-election bid.

Gates was appointed to the bench in 1991. He is married to former Clark County Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates.

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