I-Team: Cases Possibly Affected by Alleged Improper Relationship

LAS VEGAS - A so-called "tsunami" of court cases may be affected because of a family court judge's alleged relationship with a prosecutor. That's according to the Clark County District Attorney's Office. Now, the chief judge weighs in on whether Judge Steve Jones is fit to sit on the bench.

Chief District Judge Jennifer Togliatti decided to have another judge review Judge Jones' previous cases. She made this decision after Judge Jones admitted he is biased in one particular family law case because of allegations of a relationship with a prosecutor.

An affidavit obtained by the I-Team shows a Department of Family Services employee says Judge Jones was texting his alleged girlfriend, former Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson, during a trial.

Read the affidavit

Family Services specialist Georgina Stuart says she could see phone texts sent from Judge Jones to Willardson. Willardson had called him "hot" and claimed she was likely to marry Judge Jones. Sources within the DA's office say candid photos also surfaced of Willardson and Jones.

District Attorney David Roger fired Willardson after she publicly criticized the DA for removing her from cases involving Judge Jones.

Judge Jones banned two deputy district attorneys who told supervisors about Judge Jones' alleged relationship with a prosecutor.

"We view this not as some isolated thing about picture taking," said Assistant District Attorney Chris Owens. "We view this as a vindictive action by the court based upon a whole series of events and not getting his way down there."

"You say to yourself, ‘How does this happen?' said Jones' attorney Jim Jimmerson. "The genesis of this is the misconduct of two, young, alcohol-infested district attorneys on an evening that then gets out of hand three days later."

Neither Jones nor Willardson appeared in court Tuesday. Jimmerson also said the DA's office has no proof a relationship existed before Willardson was reassigned.

One long-time child case advocate tells 8 News NOW they've lost confidence in Judge Jones and believes he should be re-assigned to another court.

Sources within the DA's office say an ethics complaint will likely be filed against Judge Jones.


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