Hot Tub Photo Has Las Vegas Judge In Hot Water, He’s In Trouble

A Las Vegas judge is facing potential disciplinary action after posting controversial comments on social media, including one where she posed with public defenders in a hot tub. On Wednesday, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline filed a formal statement of charges against Clark County District Court Judge Erika Ballou.

The charges revolve around two specific posts on Ballou’s social media accounts. The first post, from September 2021, shows the judge taking a selfie and writing in her caption, “Life is still beautiful, despite the fact that Billie Eilish doesn’t start for 30 minutes and I have an 8:30 calendar tomorrow.” She used hashtags that read, “Vacatethe[Explitive]OuttaOutofCustodyCases” and “WhereInTheWorldisCarmenSanDiego.”

The second post, shared in April, shows Ballou in a hot tub with two public defenders, Shana Brouwers and Robson Hauser. The caption reads, “Robson is surrounded by great t***.” The Commission on Judicial Discipline alleges that these posts violate rules relating to promoting public confidence in the judicial system, avoiding impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, and remaining impartial.

Ballou has responded to the charges with lyrics from a Cardi B song, saying, “Get money, go hard, you’re [expletive] right.” She also wrote, “Went from makin’ tuna sandwiches to makin’ the news. I started speakin’ my mind and tripled my views. Get money, go hard, damn [expletive] right. Stunt on these [expletive] out of [expletive] spite.”

The judge declined to comment on the charges when approached by reporters. This is not the first time Ballou has faced criticism. In July, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association called for her resignation and an ethics investigation after she made comments about police officers during a hearing. She also made national headlines in 2016 when she refused to remove a Black Lives Matter pin after a judge ordered her to.

Before becoming a judge, Ballou worked as a public defender and social justice organizer. She is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that supported her run for judge in 2020. The Clark County Public Defender’s office, where Brouwers and Hauser work, has not responded to requests for comment on the situation.

A public hearing for Ballou’s ethics case has not yet been scheduled. However, this case raises questions about the appropriateness of judges’ social media activity and their ability to remain impartial when sharing personal opinions online. It also highlights the potential consequences of making controversial statements in a public forum, especially for those in positions of power and authority.

The outcome of this case will have significant implications for the future conduct of judges on social media. Some may argue that judges, as public figures, should be held to a higher standard of behavior and refrain from making controversial statements on social media. Others may argue that judges have the same right to free speech as anyone else, and their personal opinions should not affect their ability to fulfill their duties as judges.

Regardless of the outcome, Judge Ballou’s case serves as a reminder that one’s actions and words in the virtual world can have real-life consequences. It also highlights the importance of upholding the integrity and impartiality of the judicial system, both on and off social media.

Yahoo News


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