Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline: Las Vegas Judges Melanie Andress-Tobiasson and Amy Chelini 'pose threat to public' - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline: Las Vegas Judges Melanie Andress-Tobiasson and Amy Chelini ‘pose threat to public’

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Township Justice Court Judges Melanie Andress-Tobiasson and Amy Chelini  “pose a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice,” the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline ruled Friday.

The Commission said it intends to suspend Judges Tobiasson and Chelini based on their investigation.  The Commission will hold a public hearing before ordering such a suspension, scheduled in December.

The reason for this action is that the Commission has determined that Tobiasson and Chelini pose a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice, based upon the findings of the Commission’s investigation into numerous allegations of judicial misconduct on both judges.

The Baltimore Post-Examiner published a series of articles about Tobiasson, including an exclusive interview with the judge about allegations of police corruption but it is unknown if the information in those articles played any role in the Commission’s decision. The Commission did not cite any specific reason for its ruling. The Commission, however, did request and obtain articles published by the Post-Examiner. The Commission has been investigating the judge since 2018.

It is also unknown about the specifics regarding Chelini’s case.

The following is a transcript of the Commission’s ruling:

ORDER SETTING CONSOLIDATED PUBLIC HEARING AND NOTICE OF PANEL MEMBERS, ORDER REGARDING MEDIA ACCESS

TO: THE HONORABLE MELANIE ANDRESS-TOBIASSON, Respondent THE HONORABLE AMY CHELINI, Respondent WILLIAM B. TERRY, ESQ., Counsel for Respondent Judge Andress-Tobiasson THOMAS F. PITARO, ESQ., Counsel for Respondent Judge Chelini THOMAS C. BRADLEY, ESQ., Prosecuting Officer BRIAN HUTCHINS, ESQ., Prosecuting Officer

Pursuant to order of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, a consolidated public hearing on the Commission’s Notices of Intent to Suspend (attached as Exhibit 1) in the above-captioned matters has been scheduled to commence on December 16, 2019, at the hour of 8:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, and will conclude at or before 5:00 p.m. on December 17, 2019.  The public hearing will be conducted at the William S. Boyd School of Law, Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility, 4505 S Maryland Pkwy., Las Vegas, NV 89154.  The Respondents, Respondents’ counsel and the Prosecuting Officers will appear in person.

Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson

All documentary evidence, including witness lists, shall be electronically served on the opposing party and filed at ncjdinfo@judicial.nv.gov not later than 5:00 p.m. on December 11, 2019.  All exhibits must be bates stamped and tabbed; further, the Prosecuting Officers’ exhibits will be identified by numbers and Respondents’ exhibits by letters.

The taking of evidence will begin at 8:00 a.m.  Collectively, the Prosecuting Officers will present evidence regarding whether Respondents pose either (1) a substantial threat of serious harm to the public; or (2) a substantial threat of serious harm to the administration of justice for six (6) hours.  The Prosecuting Officers shall include an opening statement in their presentation.  Collectively, Respondents shall have six (6) hours to present evidence as to why a suspension should not be imposed.  Respondents shall include an opening statement in their presentation.  It may be reserved until the close of their case, but it may not be waived.  At the conclusion of the evidentiary phase, the Commission will entertain final arguments not to exceed thirty (30) minutes by the Prosecuting Officers (collectively) and Respondents (collectively). The allotted time for parties to present evidence is at the discretion of the Commission.

The rule of exclusion of witnesses will be in effect.  Each Party will be responsible for ensuring that any intended witness (with the exception of Respondents) is not present for testimony during any portion of the hearing. The requirement not to discuss testimony with other witnesses will be a continuing duty of each witness through the conclusion of the case.

If, after the presentation of evidence and final arguments, the Commission anticipates that it will not have sufficient time to deliberate on site, the Commission may deliberate at a later time. A final decision will be announced thereafter in a manner and format consistent with appropriate practice and the law.

The following panelists are scheduled to participate as members of the Commission:  Gary Vause (Chair), Stefanie Humphrey (Vice-Chair), Hon. Mason Simons (Presiding Officer), Karl Armstrong, Esq., Hon. Thomas Armstrong, Bruce C. Hahn, Esq., and Joseph Sanford.

Members of the media intending to record this public hearing must obtain consent to do so from the Commission.

NOTICE OF COMMISSION’S INTENT TO SUSPEND RESPONDENT WITH SALARY

You are hereby notified of the Commission’s intent to suspend Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson from the exercise of judicial office, with salary, pursuant to the provisions of NRS 1.4675. The reason for this action is that the Commission has determined that Judge Andress-Tobiasson poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice, based upon the findings of a Commission investigation into numerous allegations of judicial misconduct involving Judge Andress-Tobiasson. A copy of the Commission records regarding the allegations to date has been sent to you under separate cover.  You are entitled to a minimum of seven (7) days’ notice of the Commission’s intention to suspend you pursuant to NRS 1.4675(5). You are also entitled to an opportunity to respond to this Notice. You must submit your written, confidential response no later than 4:30 p.m., PST, on November 5, 2019.

The Commission shall hold a public hearing before ordering such a suspension, unless you waive the right to a hearing. The decision of the Commission must be made public.  You may submit any written response, including any waiver of said hearing, via email to the Commission’s office at ncjdinfo@judicial.nv.gov, in which case you must also provide an original and one (1) copy to the mailing address listed above. That set of document(s) must be served by mail the same day that you submit any document by email. In the event you exercise your right to request a public hearing pursuant to statute, the Commission will set the time and place for the hearing in due course. Should such a hearing be conducted, you will be required to appear in person. The full Commission has authorized the Chairman to sign this Order on its behalf.

Judge Amy Chelini

NOTICE OF COMMISSION’S INTENT TO SUSPEND RESPONDENT WITH SALARY

You are hereby notified of the Commission’s intent to suspend Judge Amy Chelini from the exercise of judicial office, with salary, pursuant to the provisions of NRS 1.4675. The reason for this action is that the Commission has determined that Judge Chelini poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice, based upon the findings of a Commission investigation into numerous allegations of judicial misconduct involving Judge Chelini. A copy of the Commission records regarding the allegations to date has been sent under separate cover.

(Editor’s Note: The next paragraphs are omitted and are identical to the above for Judge Tobiasson).

What does Nevada Revised Statute 1.4675 state

Nevada Revised Statute 1.4675 sets the circumstances under which a judge may be suspended with pay.

The Commission shall suspend a judge from the exercise of office with salary:

(a) While there is pending an indictment or information charging the judge with a crime punishable as a felony pursuant to the laws of the State of Nevada or the United States; or (b) When the judge has been adjudged mentally incompetent or insane.

During any stage of a disciplinary proceeding, the Commission may suspend the judge from the exercise of office with salary pending a final disposition of the complaint if the Commission determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the judge poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice.

The Commission shall give the judge 7 days’ notice of its intention to suspend the judge pursuant to this section and shall give the judge an opportunity to respond. The Commission shall hold a public hearing before ordering such a suspension, unless the judge waives the right to the hearing. The decision of the Commission must be made public.

A judge suspended pursuant to this section may appeal the suspension to the appellate court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to the rules fixed by the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 4 of Article 6 of the Nevada Constitution. If a judge appeals such a suspension: (a) The standard of review for such an appeal is an abuse of discretion standard; and (b) The proceedings held at the appellate court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to the rules fixed by the Supreme Court concerning the suspension must be open to the public.

Within 60 days after a decision by the Commission to suspend a judge pursuant to this section, the Commission shall: (a) Have a formal statement of charges filed against the judge; (b) Rescind the suspension; or (c) Enter into a deferred discipline agreement with the judge pursuant to NRS 1.468.

The Commission may suspend a judge pursuant to this section only in accordance with its procedural rules.

Comment

As of Friday, according to the Commission’s website, Tobiasson is still under investigation stemming from 2018, however, a formal statement of charges have not been filed.

It is not known if that investigation is related to the Commission’s intent to suspend Tobiasson.

For more information about Tobiasson please read the following Baltimore Post-Examiner articles:

January 21, 2019, Judge claims FBI refused information on police corruption probe after pressure from LVMPD

January 25, 2019, Las Vegas Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson who exposed police corruption faces constant retaliation

February 18, 2019, EXCLUSIVE: Witness claims Las Vegas Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson offered her a bribe to implicate ‘innocent man’ in unsolved murder case’

March 1, 2019, Las Vegas judge’s statement to judicial investigator about KLAS-TV interview conflicts with statement made to the Baltimore Post-Examiner

March 15, 2019, Why is the Las Vegas media silent on Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson?

May 14, 2019, Nevada Supreme Court Ruling: Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson wins round one

April 1, 2019, Las Vegas Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson: Vice Detectives wanted me and my daughter dead

July 2, 2019, Former Las Vegas cop’s stepdaughter involved in unsolved murder case: Judge claims’

August 29, 2019, Judge: FBI agent couldn’t trust FBI Las Vegas Division

October 11, 2019, ‘Shane Valentine’s mother calls Las Vegas Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson a ‘vigilante

October 13, 2019, ‘EXCLUSIVE: Las Vegas Metro Police text message confirms Vice Detectives outed Judge Melanie Andress-Tobiasson’

October 20, 2019, ‘Vice Detective who outed Las Vegas judge transferred to Homicide’





About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug authored over 135 articles on the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, more than any other single journalist in the country. He investigates stories on corruption, law enforcement and crime. Doug is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former police officer, deputy sheriff and criminal investigator. Doug spent 20 years in the hotel/casino industry as an investigator and then as Director of Security and Surveillance. He also spent a short time with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration. In 1986 Doug was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. In 1992 and 1993 Doug testified in court that a sheriff’s office official and the county prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence during the 1988 trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of his wife. Doug’s testimony led to a judge’s decision to order the release of the man from prison in 1992 and awarded him a new trial, in which he was later acquitted. As a result of Doug breaking the police “blue wall of silence,” he was fired by the county sheriff. His story was featured on Inside Edition, Current Affair and CBS News’ “Street Stories with Ed Bradley”. In 1992 after losing his job, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doug infiltrated a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont fortune heir and his wife. Doug has been a guest on national television and radio programs speaking on the stories he now writes as an investigative journalist. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY

18 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Feel sorry for Chelini. Clearly, collateral damage.

    Reply
    • Roger A Kenis says:

      Sounds Like someone was out to get the judges, considering they are friends and likely communicate similar ongoing issues. One involved in a corrupt attorney helping her gangbanger counterpart, then the other dealing with corruption with Vice. Since Wolfson and Lombardo went to the judge in secret and got declined, wonder if they went around to the JDC to get their way anyways? Sounds like a bunch of workplace gossup and not relevant.

      Maybe all the clerks being rotated is by design to interrupt or interfere in court proceedings when someone needs something to fall thru the cracks for benefit? Surely sounds like that is a high probability! The more disfunction, the easier it all looks like mistakes or errors. Just speaking out LOUD!

      Sounds like they are looking for any reason to get rid of the justices because they arent playing nice with corrupted Wolfson and Lombardo. Wverntually under enough pressure and even becoming paranoid with who can be trusted, anyone can very easily make mistakes, even justices. This appears to go into a well orchastrated plot to ruin them. Here’s to looking at you both Steve Wolfson and Joe Lombardo. The world is watching and now paying attention!

      Heres what a wistleblower with guts looks like: 9:49 Joe. You are a LIAR!
      Sincerely,
      Roger Allen Kenis

      EX US Marine Sergeant (100% Service Connected Disabled, Route91 Survivor, & Las Vegas Wistleblower)

      Reply
  2. Suzie says:

    The Judge is not the villain in this story, she is the hero! She stood up against a injustice she seen unfolding in front of her. Right or wrong or indifferent whatever people would like to think, but once again it was her who took a stand! Lots of people were aware and did nothing! It takes a lot of guts to do that when you are dealing with politics and cover ups! These are real people whos lives have been forever changed due to the failures in our system, and to continuously bully the ones not responsible for the failures is just down right disgusting!

    Reply
    • Doug Poppa
      Doug Poppa says:

      Not so fast Suzie. If Tobiasson wanted to expose corruption she would have threatened KLAS-TV’s I-Team with legal action if they aired any more segments of her interview, which by way she did not want aired in the first place. She told that to the investigator from the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, as I previously reported and which contradicted her on-the-record-interview with me in May of 2018. Tobiasson has a lot to answer for. She is at a crossroads now that she has to make a decision with her attorney and that is does she now come out publicly and expose all that she has, once and for all. That would be the only right thing to do. I also want her to answer publicly why she wanted all Connie Land’s communication messages with LVMPD Homicide Detective Mitchell Dosch and how after receiving all that information from Connie Land, how as it that one of those text messages between Land and Dosch ended up in an article written by Dana Gentry of the Nevada Current in 2018. Land didn’t give Gentry that text message. The police didn’t give that to Gentry, neither did Land. The only other person who had those messages was Tobiasson. I want to here from Tobiasson on why she was so interested in the Land/Kauffman murders and why Sydney Land and Nehemiah Kauffman ended up dead when Tobiasson said that it was her daughter and her who were meant to be killed. All these things and much more need to be publicly explained by Tobiasson. You don’t say that you want to expose corruption and then threaten the very same people who were trying to help you do that.

      Reply
      • Doug Poppa
        Doug Poppa says:

        Correction: “If Tobiasson wanted to expose corruption she would NOT HAVE threatened KLAS-TV’s I-Team with legal action…”

        Reply
      • Suzie says:

        Doug, after the betrayels she has experienced I doubt she will be going public anytime soon. And I couldn’t blame her if she didn’t, so I wouldn’t count on that one.

        Reply
  3. Suzie says:

    Lets face it. It wasn’t the judges who caused all this it was the bad cops, Deputy DA Mercer, and all who sat back and didn’t do a thing to at least attempt to stop it. The justice system failed horribly and the few who tried to do something about it are continuously being ridiculed by the ones who don’t want the truth to come out. Unfortunately, it went on for a long time, and ultimately took a few people’s lives with it. The US Atty charges nobody but Molly. How disgusting can it get! Valentine was known years before they finally decided to do something with him (and thanks to Dosch he finally got charged with something) and others are aware of that! A lot of others!!! He was left to run like a loose cannon on the streets like Baughman was with his then Lt condoning it! What is more despicable is that Wolfson’s office was put on notice during that trial and nobody did anything to stop it. I will say Wolfson’s office was put on notice because nobody wanted to tell upper mgt of LVMPD at that time so they were never told. I find it hard to believe that our US Atty could find no wrong doing with Baughman or Mercer. We all know better and its only another slap in the face to our justice system. Maybe the commission needs to be a little more informed about what really happened here before they create another injustice!

    Reply
  4. Suzie says:

    And let me add. Back when Ocean Fleming was in trial. Wolfson’s office got notification of Baughman/Mercer. If somebody dropped the ball on getting that note to Wolfson or whatever happened heads should roll. This whole thing could have been stopped, but wasn’t! Long before the FBI had to step in and babysit! So Wolfson if that note didn’t get to you maybe you should talk to your person in charge of getting the notes through the email system of your office! Just sayn!

    Reply
  5. Suzie says:

    I find it very sad that the day has come here in Vegas that when a person attempts to do the right thing, and stand up for the right thing, and speaks publicly about it, they are condemned for it, harassed for it, and retaliated against. This is what has happened here folks.

    Vice officers went to the dark side as honest people call it along with a Deputy DA. People weren’t happy with that and attempted to help. Unfortunately, when you speak out against wrongs that are going on you become a target from the people who are involved and were aware and didn’t do something about it, or failed to recognize what was happening in their own backyard. Unfortunately, when they attack judges for speaking out then the others who know and are aware of the the same information aren’t so easily to come forward because retaliation is obviously allowed not only by the commission but other leaders of our community. The media should be going crazy about now! We shouldn’t be allowing this to happen and we should all be standing up against this type of behavior. It could be your child next as the Lands and Kaufman’s have learned. We expect our elected people to stand up against injustices and because they did now they are being retaliated against!

    So US Atty charges Molly and nobody else. Thanks US Atty, NOT! Hey folks you know what’s worse than the predators who play the game are the cops who go to the dark side. You know what’s worse than that is when someone takes a stand to do the right thing and they get retaliated against for speaking out! This is what is happening! The whole damn town should be screaming including the media. These people shouldn’t be standing alone!! We shouldn’t be allowing it or condoning it!

    Reply
  6. And... says:

    Who poses the only threat to public are the corrupt cops who walked, and the people who condoned it!

    Reply
  7. And... says:

    Wonder if Baughman is still sending out texts of his junk to females who work in the courthouse. Yep, that was happening too!

    Reply
  8. Mike Zahara says:

    I’m still in the dark why Judge Zimmerman’s legislation to grant due process rights to jurist finding themselves in the sites of this Neo-Fascist Commission, died in the 80th Session and why she didn’t go up there for even a day to lobby leaders and members of both parties to pass it. Speaker Frierson and Clark County DDA Carrizanno lumped it in with a the Criminal Justice Reforms they ran on and which Metro & the DA and their lobbying team killed it before the session even gaveled to order in February. Nothing unlawful in their killing it off but it was a textbook study for USDOJ here to observe how criminal conspiracies are born and grown here, so they should have been up there too just observing.

    This Commission itseld needs a hard legislative rework and rewriting which should have begun in the 80th but no one saw the need!

    No degree of separation about anything here was a throwaway line I used in a speech more than a decade ago which sums it up nicely what our reality is here and I dont yet know how to blow it all up and redo almost everything on a majority of laws within the NRS

    Reply
  9. Norm Jahn says:

    Instead of expecting police performance from Metro and doing their jobs as judges, maybe they should have been ‘pimpin with impunity’ …

    Only in Las Vegas folks…

    Reply
  10. Anonymous says:

    This is just disgusting that they are doing this to the Judge. Its just retaliation against her, but all bad cops walk even when they take bribes from pimps. Lands case will never get solved because they don’t want it too, and the people who know anything will never go forward!

    Why is it the our DA is not being punished? He knew with notice during the Fleming trial what was going on and made a choice to ignore it! And why is Mercer even still there after what she pulled.

    Reply

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