Unfortunately, there are candidates who on their websites and in person seem like fine candidates, yet are not.
Two names pop to mind instantly: Justin Jones and Jonathan MacArthur.
Jones is an attorney running for Senate District 9 as a Democrat, and Jonathan MacArthur is an attorney running for the North Las Vegas Justice Court Department 1 as a nonpartisan.
Both have been publicly chastised recently for their behavior as lawyers. In my opinion, that makes both men unworthy of your vote.
In Jones’ case, the evidence consists of one known incident – a lie of omission. With MacArthur, it’s a lengthy pattern of bad behavior.
Jones sat silently and let another attorney on his team deceive a judge. When the other attorney provided false information to District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, Jones stayed mute. That’s a lie by omission. Jones was part of the team representing the Las Vegas Sands Corp. in a wrongful termination case filed by Steven Jacobs, former CEO of Sands China.
Sands attorneys falsely and repeatedly told the judge that records couldn’t be obtained from Macau because of the laws there.
Other Sands attorneys were also culpable, but Jones is on November’s ballot, earning him special attention. He is running in one of the Senate seats that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Nevada Legislature’s upper house. His GOP opponent is Mari Nakashima St. Martin.
R-J reporter Tim O’Reiley wrote that Jones testified last week he reviewed some of the emails in May 2011 in Las Vegas, yet the next month, he sat in court and didn’t correct another Sands attorney who said no one could view the emails outside Macau.
The truth was that Sands attorneys and executives have had the 100,000 emails in Las Vegas since August 2010.
For that, the judge fined the Sands $25,000, a pittance, for deliberately deceiving her and stalling the case.
State Bar of Nevada Assistant Bar Counsel Phil Pattee said Wednesday the bar is looking at whether to take disciplinary action against the Sands attorneys, but no decision has been made.
When asked for an explanation for his behavior, Jones wrote in an email he couldn’t comment because of attorney-client privilege.
Perhaps that’s the only time Jones behaved in such a fashion. In general he has a good reputation. But it’s enough for me to put him on my Bad Candidate list.
MacArthur belongs on the Bad Candidate list for a long list of reasons, the most recent being his public reprimand by the State Bar for trying to bribe the victim in a case to change his testimony.
Then there is MacArthur’s contempt of court citation by District Judge Susan Johnson, which was upheld recently by the Nevada Supreme Court.
MacArthur came to court and repeatedly said he was prepared to go to trial. Then on the day the trial was to begin, he wasn’t ready and refused to begin the trial.
MacArthur, who on his website sounds like the greatest defense attorney since Perry Mason, was held in contempt by Johnson for his “ineffective counsel.”
This is a judicial candidate who showed his bias by posting on his MySpace page his interests included “Breaking my foot off in a prosecutor’s ass.”
When he was a state public defender, he was blasted by one judge as “unprofessional, obnoxious and rude.”
MacArthur’s opponent is Kalani Hoo, who hasn’t had any discipline by the bar. That alone makes him the better candidate.
MacArthur is an early front-runner for a spot on R-J columnist Glenn Cook’s list of the five worst little-known candidates on the ballot, a dubious honor.
Cook and I don’t assume that everyone reads everything in the newspaper and remembers who are the duds, the fools and the unethical.
Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at 702-383-0275. She also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/Morrison.