by Linda Bentley
Jayne lacks sensitivity for the Code of Judicial Conduct’s direction on permissible activities, appearance of impropriety and use of the Internet
PHOENIX – Judge Clancy Jayne, running for reelection to the Desert Ridge Justice Court, has managed to rack up yet another informal sanction by the Commission on Judicial Conduct for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The Commission was alerted that Jayne’s personal website continued to improperly advertise wedding services, despite his previous discipline for that conduct.
The complainant also alleged that Jayne’s website improperly listed corporate sponsors, including companies that provide services to the court, and invited improper ex parte communications.
The order, written on behalf of the Commission by Chair Louis Frank Dominguez, not only determined Jayne’s conduct warranted an informal sanction, it stated, “Specifically, despite a prior informal sanction for violating Rule 2.16(C) of the Code by advertising wedding services and clear direction that continued reference to an ongoing personal business could violate Rule 1.3, Judge Jayne failed to ensure that these issues on his website were resolved.”
Additionally, the Commission ordered Jayne to obtain a mentor to specifically address concerns related to his personal website.
Dominguez wrote, “This requirement reflects the Commission’s concern that the judge lacks sufficient sensitivity for the Code of Judicial Conduct’s direction on permissible activities, the appearance of impropriety, and his use of the Internet.”
The Commission dismissed the remaining allegations against Jayne with a private warning letter.
In his response to the Commission, Jayne claimed the wedding advertisement violation was due to changing webmasters from Aimee Ludt to AXXESS Unlimited and stated, “It appears that during the changeover AXXESS Unlimited came across the wedding service drop-down and they were not aware that I had requested it be removed so they included it. I had no idea this had occurred and on accessing the website I didn’t see anything on the Home page regarding weddings so assumed it wasn’t there.”
Jayne goes on to say, “Unfortunately my own ineptness in navigating my website caused me not to realize it had been added back on. I apologize for this oversight on my part. When I asked my wife to help me prepare this response she went on the website and immediately found ‘Wedding Services’ contained in a drop-down box and she informed me that the information was still there.”
Regarding the sponsors section, Jayne stated American Traffic Academy and CHC were no longer sponsors for the Breakfast with the Judge events and had been removed from the website.
Jayne stated, “It was my understanding that the ‘Hold Harmless’ section at the bottom of our Breakfast with the Judge flyers stating, ‘This breakfast event is an independent, informational forum. It is not affiliated with any fundraising, partisan or election committee, and does not endorse any venue, sponsor or speaker,’ relieved me of any conflict of interest regarding their sponsorship. Please advise as soon as possible if this is not correct.”
According to Jayne, the companies sponsored the breakfast only, they do not pay him personally, nor do they contribute to a designated campaign fund.
Jayne also noted in the packet of enclosures with the Commission’s letter was the flyer from his April 18, 2012 fundraiser.
He wrote, “Although nothing was mentioned I’d like to clarify that this event had no sponsors and because of time constraint in getting the flyers printed a mistake was made in not removing sponsor names off the fundraiser flyer as this is the same format they use when doing the breakfast flyers. It was a complete oversight and again I apologize for this error.”
Jayne clarified that American Traffic Academy was not a defensive driving school and said “litigants were never sent to or told to contact them. When they were a sponsor, they gave out flyers and had a short video presentation that ran at the beginning of the breakfast.”
He wrote, “Lastly on the page Contact the Judge! There is a Sun City P.O. Box listed. This used to be an old mailing address. I do not have it anymore,” stating he included the copy of his email requesting the address be deleted from his website.
In closing, Jayne stated, “I appreciate the opportunity to respond to this complaint and clarify the issues in question. There has never been a time since I was sworn in as Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace that I have knowingly acted in any manner that would bring into question my ethics or reflect negatively on the bench or the Desert Ridge Justice Court.”