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Las Vegas judge faces controversy over Photoshopped image with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 09:46:36-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - A Las Vegas municipal judge is facing criticism for posting and then taking a Photoshopped picture that made it appear she was endorsed by actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Las Vegas Municipal Judge Heidi 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 said he noticed the post on Almase's Facebook page and seemed surprised Johnson would be giving Almase a celebrity campaign boost.

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

However, after looking closer and getting calls from others, Letizia began to think the picture was fake.

Sure enough, Letizia said 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.

Almase told KTNV her campaign manager's family knows Johnson and she thought she had received verbal permission to give an endorsement.

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

In a statement, Almase told KTNV: "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 Vegas residents have already voted early.

Some voters told KTNV last Friday 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 said.

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