Local News


Judge facing controversy over photoshopped image with 'The Rock'

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 09:29:34-04

Las Vegas Municipal Judge Heidi Almase is facing criticism for posting and then taking a photoshopped picture that made it appear she was endorsed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Almase is running for another term on the bench as a judge for Municipal Court Department 3.

She's facing Cara Campbell in the June 13 general election. Campbell's campaign manager Tom Letizia says he noticed the post on Almase's Facebook page, and seemed surprised The Rock would be giving his opponent a celebrity campaign boost.

"I said, wow, that's a great person to know," Letizia says.  

But after looking closer and getting calls from other people, he began to think the picture was fake.

Sure enough, Letizia says he found another similar photo of Almase from her courtroom with the same clothes and hair, that appeared to be the picture used to create the fake photo.

Judge Almase tells us her campaign manager's family knows Johnson and she thought she had gotten verbal permission to give an endorsement.

But after hearing about the photo, she asked her to try and get written permission to make sure. When that didn't happen, she fired her manager.

In a statement, Almase tells us "given that lapse in judgment, in addition to her advice regarding campaign advertising generally, she was immediately terminated."

Despite the controversy, it's not clear how the post will impact the election. At this point, many Las Vegans have already voted early.

Some voting Friday told us they hadn't heard of the post, but among those that did, it was concerning, and said it swayed them to vote for Campbell. 

Letizia hopes voters will take it into consideration if they haven't voted yet.

"Do they feel this is the type of behavior they're willing to accept in their courts, or are they looking for someone to uphold the law," he says.

We also reached out to Johnson for comment, but haven't heard back.