|Lisa Willardson is sworn in |
before testifying at the
disciplinary hearing of
Family Court Judge Steven Jones
on Dec. 4.
Willardson caught the attention of colleagues (who caught it on camera) when Judge Steven Jones, whom she appeared before in her official capacity, fondled her knee under a table. That led to her firing at the hands of then-District Attorney David Roger, who also filed a complaint against Jones with the judicial discipline commission.
Willardson sued the D.A, continued seeing the now-suspended judge and began her own campaign for a seat on the family court bench. Hardly the actions of a defeated, suicidal woman. Yet friends and colleagues posting on her Facebook page hinted Willardson took her own life, with one attorney noting it was a lesson for all. Another poster spewed venom at the two attorneys who exposed the lovesick couple, as if Willardson’s colleagues should have allowed the tryst to flourish, even as public integrity eroded.
The coroner says Willardson died on the day after Christmas, just hours after word came down that the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission ruled her relationship with Jones violated judicial rules. According to news reports the judge returned from Utah when Willardson failed to answer text messages that morning. Was she incapacitated all day and unable to answer? Jones says he found her dead, slumped over a toilet. The coroner said she died at 6:40 p.m. But if she hadn’t returned messages all day, did she even know of the commission’s findings, reported just before noon?
By most accounts Willardson was a talented, passionate and committed advocate for abused and neglected children.
Now, she’s likely to be best remembered for being found dead by her legally troubled lover, who she once described in an email as “freaking hot.”
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Tragedy follows scandal, and not for the first time