Russell Pearce's Brother Judge Lester Pearce Campaigns for Russell Despite Ethics Rules

The judge plays defense for Pearce loyalist Pat Oldroyd at a recent LD 19 meeting

Lester Pearce, brother to state Senate President Russell Pearce and longtime Justice of the Peace for the North Mesa Justice Court, allegedly has been campaigning on behalf of his embattled sibling, despite a prohibition on such activities by the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct.

Several individuals in Mesa have told me that Judge Pearce has been haranguing supporters of Pearce-challenger, Republican Jerry Lewis. Some who have Lewis signs in their yards have been approached by Lester Pearce, with the JP trying to convince them to replace a Lewis sign with a Pearce one.

One person who experienced Judge Pearce's wrath explained in detail how Pearce tried to convince the individual to do the switcheroo with the lawn signs. This person, who wished to remain nameless for fear of retribution from the powerful Pearce clan, refused.

Another individual, who also wished to remain anonymous for the same reasons, said several folks in Judge Pearce's neighborhood similarly had been approached.

Channel 12's Brahm Resnik recently reported that the JP's daughter circulated petitions on behalf of Olivia Cortes, the "sham" Republican candidate running in the recall. 

As I've previously reported at length, Cortes' campaign has been assisted mightily by Tea Party members and supporters of the Senate President, in the hopes she will siphon votes away from Lewis, leaving Russell Pearce victorious on November 8.

Judge Pearce was also at a recent Legislative District 19 meeting where a resolution in favor of his brother was presented by Pat Oldroyd, another Cortes petition circulator with strong ties to the Senate President. 

As you can see in the video above, when videographer Dennis Gilman and I attempted to interview Oldroyd on camera, the JP intervened and blocked us from talking with her.

Anson Clarkson, Lewis' campaign manager, was at the same LD 19 meeting, where he disclosed that Oldroyd had come to his home, soliciting signatures for Cortes' nominating petition.

Clarkson called the support for Cortes "hypocritical" in an address to those present. Afterward, he had an interesting exchange with Judge Pearce, who told him that both sides in the Lewis-Pearce tug-of-war were being hypocritical.

"By that time, I was a little bit hot," Clarkson explained. "I said, `Lester, that's not true in any way, and until you prove otherwise, you're going to have to take that back...the ends of this do not justify the means.'"

"He said, `Yes they do,'" remembered Clarkson.

The Lewis campaign manager replied to Pearce, "Then you're as unethical as Pat Oldroyd."

Clarkson related that a Lewis supporter recently told him Lester Pearce visited his house on three occasions. The first two, to ask him why he didn't have a Pearce sign in his yard. 

That annoyed the man so much he put a Lewis sign in his yard, which prompted another visit by the JP, who lectured him on his brother's positive attributes.

Additionally, Clarkson told me of a Tea Party meeting he went to, where both Russell and Lester were present, as was Pearce campaign adviser Chad Willems and East Valley Tea Party President Greg Western, the man who infamously dropped off Cortes' petitions just under deadline at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office.

Though Clarkson believed it was a Tea Party event, he was told to leave because it was actually a campaign meeting for Russell Pearce.

So what's the problem with Lester Pearce volunteering for his brother's effort to beat back the recall?

Well, the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct contains a blanket prohibition on any campaigning by judges, other than for their own runs for office.

In Canon Four, the code states that a judge or judicial candidate may not, "publicly endorse or  oppose  another candidate for any public office," nor may they, "actively take part in any political campaign other than his or her own campaign for election, reelection or retention in office."

There is no loophole for the campaigns of family members, as the code makes clear:

"Although members of the families of judges and judicial candidates are free to engage in their own political activity, there is no `family exception' to the prohibition...against a judge or candidate publicly endorsing candidates for public office. 

"A judge or judicial candidate must not become involved in, or publicly associated with, a family member's political activity or campaign for public office. To avoid public misunderstanding, judges and judicial candidates should take and should urge members of their families to take reasonable steps to avoid any implication that the judge or judicial candidate endorses any family member's candidacy or other political activity." (Italics added.)

George Riemer, executive director of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct explained to me that the code covers all judges, including justices of the peace. 

He also told me the commission is "complaint driven" when it comes to cases of possible misconduct, meaning a member of the public normally would have to lodge a complaint in order to initiate an investigation.

And if the commission finds that a judge has erred?

"If they find a violation, it depends on the severity," Riemer stated. "It could go from an informal reprimand, which is a public sanction, up to, basically, censure, suspension, even removal."

Judge Pearce is no newbie. According to Maricopa County Justice Courts spokesman James Vance, he is currently in his 15th year of service as a JP. His current term ends in 2012. Vance stated that Pearce has not indicated whether or not he will run again.

Interestingly, Pearce has had members of his own family before him in the past. Nephew Justin Pearce and Justin's ex-wife Nicole were parties in cases overseen by Uncle Lester, as were nephew Joshua Pearce and niece Shilo Sessions, each for minor lawsuits or infractions. 

Under the judicial canons, a judge would normally disqualify him or herself "in any proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned." However, the judge can remain on the case if both parties agree to it, as long as an appropriate notation is made of the arrangement. 

For the record, I've left messages both on the judge's cell phone and at his office seeking comment. So far, he has not returned my calls.

The judge is a bit of an oddball, shilling for the uber-conservative National Center for Constitutional Studies, a sort of ersatz-John Birch Society that holds that the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired, and can be traced directly back to Moses. 

As wacky as that may sound, the allegations that he's been assisting his brother's campaign are more disturbing, given the fact that those who publicly support Lewis could one day be before Judge Pearce in court for small claims, a traffic ticket, an order of protection, or any number of matters. 

Which must give some Mesans pause, especially if they see Lester Pearce striding toward their door with a "Keep Russell Pearce" sign under his arm.


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95 comments
SASHA EARL
SASHA EARL

Hi my name is Sasha Veronica Earl. Judge Lester Pearce is amazing. You guys are assholes a lot of time on your hands. Such hypocrisy in the same breath that you say Judge Pearce and his family are evil and you want "PEACE" and then you turn around say evil things and create WAR. You want ethical principles and soundness of moral character, you want peace, you want moral rightness based on ethics.. if that is TRULY what you want then live by it. I'd like to share with you that Judge Pearce saved my life because he is such an amazing judge. How many lives have any of you saved? Cause all I see here is a bunch people trying to ruin a life. Get over the hate and get on with living..

i am so over the hypocrisy here.. one of you refer to the Pearce family as a bunch of bullies.. thats all you guys are being right now. it's making sick.

Wake up Arizona!
Wake up Arizona!

It's all about money and power. Time to take it back. Get Money Out

http://www.getmoneyout.com/It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politicsBailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, organized wave advocating a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

teknik1200
teknik1200

So if you end up in ole' Lester's court room and he deems you a "liberal" does that mean you automatically lose?

The evidence on this one is clear, lets hope someone complains and he gets tossed.

I'm sorry but when a Justice of the Piece lets politics influence them, and bullies people in their neighbor hood they have no business sitting up on that bench.

It's funny most "liberals" would still fight for the rights of conservatives, but if a conservative thinks a liberals rights are being violated they think the liberal didn't deserve those rights anyways.

Lazik
Lazik

When is Russ going to start his door to door?  To see him have to hoof it around LD18, knocking on front doors!  I hope it is over 100 degrees out too.  I would give anything to be able to call him an asshole and then slam my door in his face.   

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Russell speaks out of both sides of his mouth (er, ass?) again when he claims the "other side" is using "character assassination" and then proceeds to do exactly what he complains about.

Can you say "hypocrite?"

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

There is considerable disagreement among behavioral health experts as to whether anti-social behavior is inherited or learned. Here is a strong argument for the latter.

Jessica
Jessica

I can not understand why the ethic rules are so strict, I think it is unnecessary,  and I hope they should cancel it.

Chem Trail Karen
Chem Trail Karen

When are you commie-crats going to learn? We wont let you steal our heros seat! If I was there I would've shoved that camera right up gilboys ass. I would've done the same to the bird but he would've enjoyed it.  STAY OUT OF MESA POLITICS AND STAY OUT OF MESA! 

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I have grown weary of the antics being played out here. Good luck President Lewis. The irritation in all this is that asshole Parraz and that selfish Snow chalk this up as a victory with Lewis winning.

Susan Rastella
Susan Rastella

Keep up the heat Mr. Lemons, we need you.  This Pearce/Cortes political ploy to dilute the vote is unscrupulous, but that's Pearce's style.  I hope the voters are paying attention; not just in Mesa, but throughout Arizona.

Corruption, nepotism, "misdirection" of $100 million dollars, false arrests in Quartzite, detention officers stealing paperwork from an attorney's file in court, killing chikens  (and a puppy) and so much more is what people hear about this state.  

It's time to stop looking like the asshole of the country.  Be a critical thinker -- NEVER ASSUME the person knows what they are talking about -- politicians have a way of looking authoritative.  Stop reading the hype, read the reports.  

Most important - get everyone you know to register to vote and get them to VOTE.  This is the fastest (and easiest) way to get rid of the garbage that is running our state.  . 

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

So Pearce's brother is a judge and has his daughter collecting signatures for a shill. The power of a judge is awesome and this raises serious red flags!  People need to nip this in the bud before this gets out of hand... one thing leads to the next and Arizona has shown how it operates. Private prison growth off SB1070 - who sends people to prison? Judges?? Who writes the laws that are "growing" the prisons?

"Court sentences ex-judge to prison in kickbacks case"http://www.azcentral.com/arizo...

Conservative American
Conservative American

I was just driving thru Mesa, saw a couple of guys with Lewis signs.  Talked to them, evidently Pearce's goon squad removed all Lewis signs from the neighborhood overnight.  10th St. just east of Alma School.

wherewasi
wherewasi

LOL - here's another interesting tidbit.  On the KPHO website, they have a picture of an email from "Cortes" (clears throat).  The subject line reads:

"Help Olivia Cortes win the recall election November 8th against Jerry Lewis"

Down in the body of the text, the words "and Russell Pearce" appear, but not in the subject line.  Could it be that trying to defeat Lewis is more important to Olivia than beating Pearce?

Oh, those dirty little schmucks!

teknik1200
teknik1200

I see you folks really are nothing more then a bunch of bullies.

Bringit
Bringit

FYI motherfucker, we'll continue to be all up in your shady politics as long as you keep proping up corrupt dickheads like Pearce. HERO??? Please!!! Only to small hateful individuals who have no concept of reality.  Guest23 said it well, so really no need to pile on further.  I'll just add how creepy it is that you're so obbessed with shoving things in guys asses. Is there something you'd like to share with everyone?

Guest23
Guest23

Commie-crats??? Heh, a juvenile trite insult that doesn't fit the race involved. Pearces opponet is a died in the wool republican. And many that signed the recall petition are as well and they are all sick of pearces hypocrisy, lies, shady political tactics, takign money away from educatjion anf making arizona the laughing stock of the nation anf world.

But everyone in the state has a vested interest in this recall election and should do whatever they can to support Jerry Lewis's campaign efforts because if pearce is recalled he is also removed as the senate majority leader and that is good for all citizens of arizona.

Numbnut pearce supporters like your self are ignorant braindead fools and once the olivia cortes debacle hits mainstream press it really is going to spell the end for your leader.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

I guess I'd settle for a limo ride and some Fiesta Bowl tix if I were really being selfish.  Stupid comment. 

Vic
Vic

I'm beginning to think you are either Lester or someone else from the Pearce mob.  If not,why are you so interested in what is written here?

wherewasi
wherewasi

Perhaps if we make you so weary you'll go away and take a nap.

Tina
Tina

We're doing our best to get rid of the "Pearce style."   He's got money to burn with  campaign funds from all his vested interests, outside and inside the state. It isn't even October yet, and today we got our 5th mass mailed "rah rah Russell Pearce" item in our mailboxes, the 4th on slick 8 1/2 x 11 card stock.  This one today is "Senator Russell Pearce has a solid record on Education," "improving Education for our Children and Our Future"  etc. etc.  Last week's and the week before were about all the jobs he's created (he says), especially in the East Valley.  

The thing that really resonated with me from your post is, "NEVER ASSUME the person knows what they are talking about -- politicians have a way of looking authoritative.  Stop reading the hype, read the reports."   The first part of that is a custom fit for Russell Pearce....and the last part is what we have to continually do with ANYTHING he says.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Critical thinking would include not believing everything you read simply because it bolsters your point of view, but you probably already knew that already and simply ignore it.

seeking the truth
seeking the truth

interesting...""The system is not corrupt," said Conahan. "I was corrupt."Conahan, a once-powerful man who regularly met for breakfast with the reputed boss of a northeastern Pennsylvania Mafia family, offered a direct apology to the children who spent time in a pair of youth lockups from which he and another former judge derived millions of dollars."Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizo...

seeking the truth
seeking the truth

5,000 private prison beds (unnecessary) signed into law in 2009, while other states are cutting back prison population. Contracts to be awarded any day for these beds. Let's not let Pearce divert the public attention off this serious issue of the mass incarceration of Arizona's people and those he and his enablers "hate".

Vic
Vic

I live just west of Alma School and I noticed that there are, in fact, less Lewis signsthan last week.  East of Alma School around 10th St is Olivia's neighborhood by the way, just sayin.

Tina
Tina

Resorting to stealing political yard signs in a neighborhood of single family homes (I know the street & location) is about as low as a zealous and insecure opponent's campaign can get. Very desperate.  Too bad you were just driving through the area.If something like this happens in anybody else's neighborhood and someone is caught doing it, they should call the cops.  Might sound like overkill, but that Political Signs law that the legislature passed in April (the one Pearce's campaign has flagrantly violated with their asinine "Randy Parraz" signs) says as follows:

ARS 16-1019.A.  "It is a class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign of any candidate for public office for the period commencing forty-five days before a primary election and ending seven days after the general election."The city of Mesa has deemed the Nov. 8 recall election a "general election" for enforcement purposes.  Also the following subsection states that the above does not apply to the candidate or candidate's authorized agent or the private property owner.  

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

It's the same stuff MCSO posse members were doing in 2008 during the election. They were out in the dark of night removing all the opposition signs...

Tina
Tina

Susurro,  thanks for acquainting me with what Facebook is all about.  I'd already read Jerry Lewis' really good and thorough letter, but found a number of the comments interesting and revealing.  It was brought out by a couple commenters that Russell Pearce censors comments with an opposing viewpoint, Jerry Lewis does not.

Thanks to Julie Jorgensen, I also watched the excellent video of Julie Erfle speaking at a recent conference on Immigration held in Mesa.  

Some months ago I recall seeing a video of teacher Julie Jorgensen speaking of her reasons to actively support the Russell Pearce recall. She explained how aghast she was some time ago when Russell Pearce visited her class. And the first words out of his mouth were something like, "I don't like these people" referring to her students.  That really threw me.  From her comment on Facebook we see that she teaches ELL (English language learners).  That explains it. To fellow LD 18 voters,  we are in desperate need of intelligence and reason from one who understands our state's priorities as Jerry Lewis does.  Pearce must go.    

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

I wish good luck on Jerry Lewis and I'm tagged part of the Pearce clan?  That's funny.  Stupid, but funny.

Susurro Perforado
Susurro Perforado

You know, Tina, I was privy to a conversation with people in one of the educational organizations that "gave" and award to Pearce.  They were disgusted with the threats and coercion from Pearce's people as they had their arms twisted into giving Pearce an award.  It's terrible when people throughout the state are issued a command performance call to come and kiss Emperor Russell's ring, lest he damage you.  This bully needs to go!  All of the educators in town probably threw up when they saw Russell touting himself as a friend to education in that mailer.  Is that why the superintendents, past and present, the school board, and most of the principals and teachers in Mesa have either formally endorsed, or support, Jerry Lewis?

Deception upon deception from Team Pearce.

Lala
Lala

Only in Russell Pearce World would 2.2 billion dollars in cuts to K-12 education give him a solid record on education improvement. LOL if it weren't so pathetic.

teknik1200
teknik1200

unfortunately in today's world no many folks are "critical tinkers".

If people could think and deduce things for themselves the world would be a different place.

Wake up Arizona!!
Wake up Arizona!!

The mass industrial prison complex Arizona has become can be blamed on the legislators who were noticeably missing from the recent public hearings held around the state. Their leader Senate President Pearce was no where to be seen.  Arizona "prison state" is driven by Pearce failed public policies and his SB1070, a gift to the private prison corporations. Politicians, law enforcement, prosecutors, legislators, bad lawyers, judges = For-Profit prisons, that must be STOPPED and Pearce ousted out of office!

Tina
Tina

You've got a friend in my LD 18 state representative, Cecil Ash.  He wrote an excellent commentary for yesterday's (9/23) Republic, "Criminal justice redo would save state cash."  All about the profit-motivated private prison industry that has taken hold in our state which is costlier in the long run.   He also pointed out other aspects of our criminal justice system that are in need of change or improvement for the ultimate betterment of our society.  If you Google the title it should come up.  

Tina
Tina

It's even closer to where Greg Western  lives at 1103 W. 9th Place.  Olivia Cortes lives at 863 N. Cherry.  Remember Western has said publicly that they both go to the same church (ward),  which I'm quite sure is the 25th Ward (or 20th Ward) at 848 N. Westwood.   

Cortes lives a few blocks southeast of Greg Western and their church.  Keeping in mind that Alma School is 1200 West in Mesa, and that ConervativeAmerican was on 10th Street just east of Alma School when he learned from the guys he spoke to where the Lewis signs had been stolen overnight from the people's yards --- my hunch is with Greg Western having something to do with the theft of the signs.  He lives just a short block from where the signs were stolen.  

Greg Western, chair of the East Valley Tea Party-- first mentioned by Susurro Perferado in a comment on the first article Lemons wrote about the Cortes candidacy -- is really tangled up in his own lies and contradictions. Western's wife told Lemons that hubby Greg was an avid Pearce supporter.  But when Lemons met up with Greg  at the Sec'y of State's office on Friday 9/9, when Greg (not Olivia) was delivering her nominating petitions, he answered Lemons' inquiries in a mealy-mouthed manner that he was supporting Olivia Cortes.  

Whatever the case, considering Lester Pearce's obsessive actions concerning yard signs, the Pearce mentality appears to really be freaked about the abundance of  Jerry Lewis yard signs.  Unlike the impersonal large signs at arterial street corners, those Lewis yard signs represent real people, people who Jerry Lewis has connected with....real voters.

Another thing that appears indicative of the Pearce lie-cheat-steal mentality is revealed in the dialogue Anson Clarkson had with Lester Pearce at that meeting (which was related to Lemons) .  Lester actually believed, and expressed such to Anson, that the end (winning an election) justifies the means of defrauding voters,  deceit and dishonesty.  

   

Tina
Tina

Thank for providing that link.  Your comments were really on point,

teknik1200
teknik1200

so the mere thought of someone who's politics you do not like getting what they want makes you angry?

is that kind of like taking all your toys and going home?

if you like the outcome you should not let the thought of how it impacts someone else sway your own feelings.  

teknik1200
teknik1200

the sad part is they don't need to be honest.  They care about shaping public opinion and nothing else.   it doesn't matter what's true, all that matters is getting the public to agree with you.

as long as the "liberals" are angry then anything the pierce camp says must be true!

And if you are against Pierce then obviously you must be a liberal.

Only a liberal would dare going against the "Rule Of Law"!

Tina
Tina

Susurro,  I can't help but also think that "All the educators in town probably threw up..." when they received in the mail that costly Pearce flyer that lauds Pearce for his "record" on being supportive of education.  If teachers living in LD 18 weren't in tune to the issues,  that flyer should have been a mobilizer for them all to mark Nov. 8  on their calendars to get out and vote for Jerry Lewis. What gall Pearce has! 

teknik1200
teknik1200

making a commodity out of prisoners is sick. these people want folks doing crime.  they do better the more crime there is.  it's disgusting to say the least.

yodabama
yodabama

Don't forget Brewer and her crew, that would be a nice addition to the mop up of this bloody fiasco.

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