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.

Some of their properties were sold at sheriff sales before they filed for bankruptcy. They rented out some houses but were not always paid by tenants, records show.

Much of their debt comes from the $504,366 mortgage on the home where they live, records show. That home is not the focus of any of the foreclosures.

Other debts include a $59,070 student loan, an $18,485 remodeling bill and $16,969 in restoration services on a previous home that burned.

Karlos LeSure reported in the bankruptcy that he was a mortgage broker but "may eventually be unemployed... due to turmoil in mortgage industry." An office number for his mortgage business is no longer in service.

He identified himself at the Friday news conference as a Baptist church's associate minister.

They filed a type of bankruptcy case designed for debtors who want to repay all or part of what they owe.

A bankruptcy judge in November approved a 60-month payment plan. Under the plan, they surrendered ownership in four Oklahoma City properties. They owed close to $250,000 on those properties. They keep their current home.

The plan calls for some unsecured debts to be paid at 8 cents on the dollar.

The judge and her then-husband, James K. Jones, filed a bankruptcy petition in October 1995, asking for relief from certain debts. They reported $37,510 in assets then and $57,330 in liabilities.

She then worked as an assistant public defender. James Jones was unemployed. They divorced in 1999.

The pharmacist Ersland is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 fatal shooting of a masked robber. He said he acted to defend himself and two employees. Prosecutors allege he went too far.


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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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