On Monday morning during the busiest hours of the Municipal Court — as well as during all jurisdictional courts — Judge Heidi Almase stepped down from the bench to address a political event on behalf of her campaign, leaving the post alone, knowing that it is not acceptable under court rules and regulations.
When she was asked on Facebook Live by Las Vegas Tribune Founder, Rolando Larraz, if the Municipal Court was closed this Monday or if she was taking a leave of absence to campaign, Judge Almase responded very ceremonially, “I am campaigning, Mr. Larraz…” and the rest of the dialog was deleted immediately.
Judge Almase was supported and endorsed by the Las Vegas Tribune during her first run for the job she now holds, and she is desperately trying to hold on to it. She was running against a controversial judge and the newspaper saw her as the best candidate.
She does not gain the endorsement or the support of the weekly newspaper this time because of her ties with campaign manager David Thomas, who is holding financial interest in a local marijuana business.
Las Vegas Tribune has learned that Judge Heidi Almase has requested that the local attorneys that have contributed to her opponent campaign be prepared to equally match up her contribution.
Many people that supported her in the first run around are becoming a little dissapointed with her, and a few of them believe that she caught “robe fever” and feel intimidated by her.
Canon 3 of the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct directs that a judge shall conduct his or her extra-judicial activities so as to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial obligations; and Canon 4 of the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct directs that a judge or judicial candidate shall refrain from inappropriate political activities.
The Marijuana business may be legal in Nevada thanks to the hungry legislative members, but it is still federally illegal, and it is the newspaper’s opinion that judges, elected or appointed, should be held to the highest standards possible.
In one of the past Las Vegas Tribune editorials it was clearly explained that “the management of the newspaper has nothing to do with the political endorsements and it is left to the discretion of an outside endorsement panel that we choose to keep anonymous to preserve the integrity of that voluntary panel; the owners, management and writers do not participate in it.”
One past member of that panel is former Assemblywoman and current candidate for city council Ward 6, Michele Fiore; she could testify to the fact that the Founder and Publisher of the newspaper was not even in the building when the panel gathered. But she would not do that because a close friend of hers will not allow the former Assemblywoman to do that; yet the “weekly newspaper that no one reads,” according to Fiore’s friend, is recommending and even pushing the city of Las Vegas voters to vote for her.
The newspaper is definitely and openly supporting Fiore and Bob Beers, whose campaign literature is displayed in the lobby of the newspaper despite the fact that now the councilman has been convinced by someone in the office of his own campaign manager, Steve Forsythe, that “the radio station owned by the Las Vegas Tribune is too far from his district,” while in the primary he did almost ten appearances on Rolando Larraz’s Face The Tribune radio show.
Many believe that there was more to that, but because Beers is such a polite person he did not know how to excuse himself without saying that he is not allowed to communicate with the Las Vegas Tribune, Radio Tribune, and the man who owns it all, Rolando Larraz.
In the endorsements issue of the Las Vegas Tribune the newspaper wrote “maybe we are approaching a moment of truth and are being morally forced to chose: do we want to make a judgment call or do we want to be connected to an illegal drug salesman?
“Perhaps a better question would be: what does David Thomas want to do? Continue being a campaign manager or being an illegal drug salesman under federal law?”
There is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant — either you are or you are not; either you agree with the sale of illegal drugs, under federal law, or you do not — and that begs a question that the voters may want to ask: “How can you find a defendant guilty of drug possession when you are connected to a marijuana business owner?” Just because the Nevada Legislature wants to make it legal, it is not; any federally illegal drug business is still illegal.
We strongly believe that Cara Campbell is the right choice at the present time to be wearing that black robe; she is a career prosecutor and has done that for twenty years, which reduces the cocky mentally and attitude of the novice who may want to make a name for herself.” The newspaper confirmed the endorsement of Cara Campbell for Judge in Department 3 of the Municipal Court.