Admittedly, there are statutory restrictions the Commission has to follow about when and what it can or cannot say when judicial disciplinary matters are involved. But to assert that its unwillingness to reveal specific information about an elected official’s stipulated ethical violations because of a supposed concern for the public’s protection — that rises to self-contradicting sophistry of the worst kind.
Were it not that the public is getting treated like dunderheads or tow-headed toddlers, that statement might even be funny. But in truth, it’s outrageous. Why should greater weight be given to protecting a public official’s private embarrassment over the public’s right to know? After all, we’re not talking about a private personal matter but a public one involving a duly elected, taxpayer-paid official who was in its employ and who admitted to on-the-job misconduct so serious as to permanently disqualify him from ever holding that job anywhere else.
Berobed no more.
And in another wrinkle, the disciplined official who agreed to never again don the judicial robes is actually no longer in office.  He has accepted discipline even though he retired August 6th of last year. He is James EnEarl, formerly JP of East Fork Township, Douglas County, NV. See “EnEarl barred from ever sitting as a judge” | RecordCourier.com
But since not much is being disclosed, it’s open to speculation on whether or not this was the actual basis for Judge EnEarl’s abrupt and surprising resignation from his well-paid office last August. At that time, he explained his decision to leave the $103, 417 post by saying, “There are just more demands on my time than I can meet. I’m just spread too thin.” See “East Fork justice of the peace resigning Aug. 6.”
Since the Commission’s website section,”Decisions of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline,” does not have any information about the parties’ June 23, 2011 stipulated deal, the only thing left to go on are public news accounts, which state that the undisclosed violations of the canons of judicial ethics involved Judge EnEarl “repeatedly engaging in comments and actions with the court staff of the East Fork Township Justice Court that were of an extremely inappropriate and offensive character and that he continued to do so after being advised by court staff that his conduct was unacceptable and offensive.”
But when reporters asked for more about the allegations or for a description of what happened, they were blown off.
Not the first time.
This also isn’t the first time Judge EnEarl has been disciplined by the Commission. In 2003, he was accused of “numerous improprieties during a probation revocation hearing” involving Joseph Manoukian, the son of a former state supreme court justice.
Tragically, Joseph Manoukian, who was battling depression, hung himself in jail after his probation was revoked and he was incarcerated. See “Douglas JP Facing Complaint After Inmate’s Suicide.” In its unanimous decision to impose discipline “In the Matter of the Honorable James EnEarl,” the Commission found his “impatience and intemperance unwarranted” in violating Joseph Manoukian’s due process and right to counsel when the loss of liberty is implicated.
Judge EnEarl, a former deputy sheriff by background and not a lawyer, held a probation revocation hearing, which the Commission called “a one-sided colloquy with an unrepresented litigant” since Manoukian’s defense lawyer wasn’t present “to either contest the allegations or to enter his client’s waiver of a hearing.”
To the appall of many in out of the legal community, the discipline imposed was only a “public reprimand.” See reviewjournal.com — News: “Panel reprimands judge in case ending in suicide.”
Pss’t . . . it’s confidential.
In Nevada, the confidentiality of disciplinary proceedings involving judges is covered by NRS 1.4683, which says at (1), “Except as otherwise provided in this section and NRS 1.4675 and 239.0115, all proceedings of the Commission must remain confidential until the Commission makes a determination pursuant to NRS 1.467 and the special counsel files a formal statement of charges.”
Therefore, this means that since a formal statement of charges was never actually filed nor was there ever a formal hearing, a loophole in the statute enables a settlement to be kept under wraps. Otherwise, NRS 1.4687 would have required not only disclosure to the public but an open hearing. Here is what the relevant section says at (a): “Upon the filing of a formal statement of charges with the Commission by the special counsel, the statement and other documents later formally filed with the Commission must be made accessible to the public, and hearings must be open.”
Since that didn’t occur, then to quote the immortal words of William Henry Vanderbilt, “The Public Be Damned,” as far as any right the public thinks it has to know the facts. The great unwashed will have to content themselves with fermenting in the dark unpleasant substrate attendant to growing basement mushrooms.
And as for Open Meeting laws, well, those are inapplicable to the Commission on Judicial Discipline since the definition of “public body” under NRS 241.015 (3) does not include a judicial body. See NRS 241.030(3)(a), and Goldberg v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 93 Nev. 614, 572 P.2d 521 (1977), which held that “NRS ch. 241, as applied to judicial bodies, is an unconstitutional infringement on the inherent powers of the judiciary which violates the doctrine of separation of powers.”
Non-disclosure protects the public interest?
What’s most disconcerting about all this is what’s glossed over when coequal branches of government enact rules to protect their turfs. Sometimes, the public interest gets caught in between, even when “Government is and should be the servant of the people, and it should be fully accountable to them for the actions which it supposedly takes on their behalf.” 
Or as James Madison reminds us in The Federalist #49, “the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”
 By comparison, in Arizona last year, the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct opted not to pursue an ethics inquiry into a Pro Tem Probate Judge’s actions in a highly publicized and acrimoniously contested probate because the jurist had already retired. See “Judicial immunity for a probate judge’s ex-parte contacts” and “Judge: probate judge acted unethically but she wasn’t biased against old lady.”
 H.R. Rep. No. 94-880, pt. I, at 2 (1976), reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. 2183, 2184.