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Lester Pearce faces ethics charges

The state’s judicial conduct commission has filed ethics charges against former Justice of the Peace Lester Pearce. The accusations stem from alleged politicking during the recall effort of his brother – former state senator Russell Pearce.

Judges are forbidden from engaging in political activity while in office. The state judicial commission says Lester Pearce did just that when his brother faced a November 2011 recall.

During the recall campaign, the commission claims Lester accompanied a family member who was collecting petitions for a candidate in the race.

It also accuses Lester of speaking in favor of his brother, and against the recall, at a meeting in Russell’s Mesa district. Russell Pearce eventually lost the election, and Lester Pearce resigned his justice of the peace position in April to run for another office, which he lost.

If the commission’s charges are confirmed, Lester could be censured and forced to pay legal fees. He has denied all of the charges.