I-Team: Former court employee alleges workplace abuse by judge | News
NORTH LAS VEGAS -- A former court employee told the I-Team she was ordered by North Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Catherine Ramsey to run personal errands for the judge while on the clock.
The former employee met with the I-Team but didn't want her face to be shown on TV because she didn't want her future in the justice system to be impacted by the accusations she is leveling against the judge.
But the I-Team verified that the former employee worked for the court and has made the same allegations in a formal complaint.
I-Team: “Did Judge Ramsey ever direct you to run personal errands for her on taxpayer time?”
Former court employee: “Oh, all the time.”
She said the personal errands Ramsey directed her to perform included filing paperwork at Clark County Family Court in connection with the judge's former spouse, and picking up Ramsey's tax returns.
“On two occasions she had me purchase lottery tickets, drive to Arizona in the middle of the day to purchase lottery tickets,” the former employee said.
The former worker also said Ramsey requested favors that extended after work hours.
“She would take a trip to Laughlin, her and her husband, for a week, and I would be responsible for babysitting her daughter,” the former employee said. “Her daughter would stay with me.”
I-Team: “Is that something you wanted?”
Former employee: “No, no.”
I-Team: “Why did you do it?”
Former employee: “Out of fear.”
The former employee initiated a complaint with the city's Human Resources Department. But that department has no authority over Ramsey, who is an elected official.
A human resources investigation did conclude, though, that there was a hostile work environment at the court. That conclusion was echoed by another city employee who also requested anonymity.
“She is abusive toward employees in her courtroom,” the other employee said of Ramsey. “I have witnessed her become angry and scream at employees in her courtroom and as a result of that, she has created a hostile work environment.”
Ramsey is involved in a lawsuit with the city, claiming the municipality should have defended her in a separate lawsuit filed by another employee. North Las Vegas, meanwhile, filed an ethics complaint against the judge partly because Ramsey used her city purchase card to help pay for a lawyer the city refused to provide.
The I-Team requested an on-camera interview with Ramsey but instead got a nine-page statement from her attorney in response. The statement is the same response given to human resources investigators after the complaint was filed by the former employee.
Ramsey asserted she and the former employee were friends and that the employee volunteered to watch the judge's daughter but wasn't forced to do so. The judge alleged she authorized the former employee to pick up the tax returns because they were friends but that the employee never picked them up.
The judge also alleged she never directed the former employee to run private errands during work hours. Ramsey's statement didn't address the alleged lottery ticket trips to Arizona.