Hot Tub Selfie With Public Defenders Lands Las Vegas Judge in Ethics Charges Lawsuit
A Las Vegas judge is facing allegations of ethics violations. A formal statement of charges has been filed against Clark County District Court Judge Erika Ballou by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.
Ballou is facing two charges related to her social media posts. In one post, she seemed to suggest that cases without defendants in custody should be dismissed. In another post, she was seen posing with two individuals from the Clark County Public Defender’s office in a hot tub and made an inappropriate comment.
The commission has raised concerns about a Facebook post, suggesting that Ballou may have once again violated several rules that are meant to uphold public confidence in the judiciary. These rules include the requirement for judges to remain impartial and avoid any activities that could compromise their independence or integrity.
Ballou assumed the role of a judge in January 2021 and has encountered previous scrutiny.
In July of 2022, the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, the union representing Metro police officers, demanded Ballou’s resignation and requested an ethics investigation following her remarks about police officers.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office was pursuing the revocation of the probation of the defendant whom Ballou was addressing. During a period of probation, the defendant faced allegations of battery against an officer.
Prior to serving as a judge, Ballou gained experience as a public defender and dedicated their efforts to promoting social justice. She was affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America, which backed her campaign for judge.
In 2016, Judge Ballou declined to remove a Black Lives Matter pin despite a judge’s order. This story gained widespread attention across the country.