Accused Oklahoma County judge has financial woes

An Oklahoma County judge who removed herself from a high-profile murder case involving pharmacist Jerome Jay Ersland is in bankruptcy court with her husband after banks foreclosed on their properties.
BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: September 7, 2010 at 9:02 am •  Published: September 7, 2010
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photo - Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure and her husband own this $456,072 home in northeast Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure and her husband own this $456,072 home in northeast Oklahoma City.

A judge accused of misconduct has ended up bankrupt twice, the latest time reporting she and her husband owe more than $1 million.

Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure and her husband filed for bankruptcy in June 2009. They acted after banks foreclosed on six modest Oklahoma County houses they owned. The 2009 bankruptcy case is pending.

They initially reported in the bankruptcy case that they had assets of $1.14 million but liabilities of $1.22 million. They later reported their liabilities actually were $1.03 million.

Bass-LeSure stepped down a week ago from a high-profile murder case involving pharmacist Jerome Jay Ersland after prosecutors said she couldn't be fair.

Prosecutors complained because the judge in July gave the names of three attorneys to a personal trainer at a meeting in an Edmond gym, even though he had a pending drug case assigned to her. The trainer also already had an attorney. One of the attorneys listed by the judge represents Ersland.

District Attorney David Prater on Friday called the judge's action immoral and corrupt. He confirmed Monday prosecutors are "following up on information related to other activities by the judge that have come to light" in the past week.

Bass-LeSure, 43, has declined to comment since making a brief statement to the media Aug. 31, minutes after taking herself off the pharmacist case. She told friends her actions have been misrepresented in news accounts.

Her husband, Karlos LeSure, 46, showed up Friday for a news conference called by the judge's supporters, but he did not make a statement.

They could not be reached for comment for this story.

Bass-LeSure has been a district judge in Oklahoma County for almost 12 years. The judge makes about $124,000 a year and she, her husband and children live in a northeast Oklahoma City house valued on county records at $456,072.

She and Karlos LeSure have been married more than six years. Their financial troubles apparently arose in part because real estate investments went sour, court records show.


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AT A GLANCE

Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure has not been charged with any crime over the misconduct accusation. However, sources say prosecutors told her last week they will file a judicial complaint. That is the first step in a process that could lead to her removal from office.

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