Wyoming Supreme Court Publicly Censures Green River Attorney

Candice Nicole Cortez pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in 2016.

CHEEYENNE — John Joseph DeLeon, a civil deputy with the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office, received a public censure from the Wyoming Supreme Court on November 14.

The censure stems from DeLeon allowing Candice Nichole Cortez, a registered sex offender, to reside in his home in Green River for approximately one week, violating the Wyoming Registered Sex Offender Act as the residence is within 1,000 feet of a middle school.

“The public censure stemmed from DeLeon’s conduct, during his employment with a county attorney’s office, in making misleading statements to a law enforcement officer regarding the place of residence of a female registered sex offender who resided with DeLeon for approximately one week,” according to a press release from the Wyoming State Bar.

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DeLeon was also fined $800 to cover administrative fees in the matter.

“DeLeon denied that the woman had ever resided with him. After the woman was charged with violating the Act, DeLeon disclosed his misrepresentations to the Wyoming State Bar,” the press release states. “DeLeon admitted that he had made the misrepresentations and stipulated that such conduct violated Rules … of the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct.”

Prosecutors in Carbon County are working to revoke Cortez’s probation and she has been charged with violating the Wyoming Registered Sex Offender Act in Carbon and Sweetwater Counties.

The release from the Wyoming State Bar further states that,”the Review Panel found that DeLeon’s candor in self-reporting the incident to Bar Counsel, his cooperation with the disciplinary process, the absence of any prior discipline, his heartfelt expression of remorse for his conduct, as well as DeLeon’s extensive history of exemplary pro bono service to indigent clients, were significant mitigating factors.”

Click here for a link to the complete Order of Public Censure.