Las Vegas CBS KXNT – A judge was denied an injunction on Tuesday to halt an action against him by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline. District court Judge Kathleen Delaney instead decided in favor of the commission, which sought a motion to dismiss the request by suspended family court judge Steven Jones.
Jones is fending off a hearing about his involvement with an attorney who appeared before his court. Separately, he’s under grand jury indictment accusing him of a role in an investment fraud scheme.
Judge Kathleen Delaney found today after hearing arguments that she has no authority to intervene in an action by the commission. Delaney said she relied on Nevada Supreme Court decisions, statutes, and the state constitution to conclude that granting the injunction would be an inappropriate exercise of her authority. The disciplinary commission has been defined in case law as a court, on par with her own court, she said, and she therefore can’t interfere in its activity.
Delaney expressed concern that public trust in the judiciary could suffer if a district court judge acted to halt a disciplinary inquiry involving another judge. She pointed out that Jones has recourse at the Nevada Supreme Court if he is aggrieved by the outcome.
Attorneys for Jones accused the commission of failing to provide discovery in a timely manner, of violating their client’s right to due process, and of breaking its own rules in its investigation of Jones. James Jimmerson told Delaney the district court is the appropriate place to present evidence and build a record of an improper proceeding.
Jones may appeal Delaney’s decision. Brian Hutchins, attorney for the commission, had no immediate word on when the disciplinary hearing might take place.