Less than 24 hours after manslaughter charges against him were dismissed, former LRPD officer Josh Hastings has filed for a hearing with the Civil Service Commission which could help him regain his position with the department. Little Rock attorney Bill James tells KTHV that he will represent Hastings in his hearing before the commission, and will submit evidence that the jury wasn't allowed to hear.
The Arkansas Republican Party is hoping to intervene in the lawsuit over how to deal with absentee ballots under the state's Voter ID law, but the Pulaski County Election Commission yesterday asked a Pulaski County judge to turn down the GOP's request, the AP reports. The commission filed suit last month against the state Board of Election Commissioners, arguing that the board overstepped its authority when it followed the guidance of Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin and adopted a rule that absentee votes without ID should be treated as provisional ballots, with the voter having until the Monday after the election to present ID.
The mother of Bobby Moore III, the 15-year-old shot by former Little Rock Police officer Josh Hastings in Aug. 2012, is speaking out about the dismissal of manslaughter charges against Hastings yesterday. Sylvia Perkins, Moore's mother, told THV This Morning today that the dismissal of the charges has been a nightmare for her family. Perkins said that she prays that Josh Hastings isn't able to regain his position with the police department. Hastings' attorney Bill James said yesterday that Hastings plans to seek a civil service hearing to try and get his job back. "Closure and justice," Perkins said. "That's all I want. That's all I ever wanted."
The beat goes on in the kerfuffle over suspended law licenses, as Blue Hog Report lists off a whopping 59 currently sitting district, circuit, and Court of Appeals judges who have had their licence suspended for failure to pay bar dues within the timeframe that would arguably have disqualified from running in the first place (or running for re-election).
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wants the Arkansas Supreme Court to sort out this judicial candidate eligibility business, too. In an answer to Circuit Judge H.G. Foster's petition to the Court, McDaniel agrees that, among other reasons, "matters of substantial public interest" are within the Court's jurisdiction. He also argues that administrative fees shouldn't affect a judge's eligibility to hold office.
Andrea Clevenger, the former reality show figure who was charged with rape in January, accussed of having sex with a 13-year-old boy, appeared in court this morning in Pulaski County and plead not guilty. The office of Seventh Division Circuit Judge Barry Sims said that the Judge set an Aug. 7 pretrial hearing in the case, with trial dates set for Sept. 9-11. Sims also issued a no-contact order between Clevenger and the victim in the case.
When it comes to the judiciary, appearances become reality in the minds of the citizenry the judiciary serves. As a judge for more than 14 years, I know that to be true, just as sure as the sun shines. The Code of Judicial Conduct, the rules by which judges are required to abide by, makes appearances a critical element of the Code’s reason for being. If a judge appears to be biased or partial in his or her decision-making, then he or she is not impartial; and the public perception of the impartiality and independence of the judge is lost.
Pulaski County Prosecutors appeared before 5th Division Circuit Judge Wendell Griffin this morning to inform the court that they will not seek to re-try former Little Rock Police officer Josh Hastings for a third time on charges of manslaughter in the August 2012 death of Bobby Moore, Jr., a 15-year-old Hastings shot during a call at a West Little Rock apartment complex.
The big story isn't campaign finance funny business except to the extent that it reflects a much larger story about justice in Arkansas. Gilbert Baker and co. have worked for year in the employ of forces who want to make it harder to sue for damages in Arkansas courts: the so-called "tort reform" campaign of big business.
The knocks against Court of Appeals Judge Rhonda Wood keep piling up. She's been at the vanguard of the Republican, business-lobby takeover of the non-partisan judiciary. She's played loose with the facts on contributions to her unopposed campaign for Supreme Court by the nursing home lobby. Now, after responding to questions raised by Blue Hog Report about her eligibility to run for Supreme Court, Blue Hog's Matt Campbell argues that Wood has violated judicial rules.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said today he will file a petition asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to reconsider its recent ruling reversing a judgment of more than $1 billion against Johnson & Johnson regarding the marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.
Lawyer Valerie Thompson Bailey was disqualified from challenging Circuit Judge Tim Fox because of a past administrative suspension of her law license. But it turns out Fox had a suspension too, for non-payment of dues in 2013. Oops! Now a lawsuit has been filed asking that Fox be disqualified from the race.
Meanwhile, Rhonda Wood, who had a brief suspension in 2008, and is running for Supreme Court, could be the next one sued. She released a statement today. Will her excuses fly?
Former Little Rock Police Officer Josh Hastings has asked Judge Wendell Griffen to throw out charges against him to spare Hastings another trial on a charge of manslaughter. Hastings has already been tried twice in the death of Bobby Moore, Jr, 15. who Hastings shot during an early-morning burglary call at a West Little Rock apartment complex. Both of Hastings' earlier trials — the first in June 2013 and the second in September 2013 — ended in hung juries. A retrial in the case is scheduled for next month.
Separate lawsuits have been filed against Judge H.G. Foster and Angela Byrd, asking that they be disqualified from running in next month's judicial races because of issues with past suspensions of law licenses for non-payment of bar dues. These sorts of suits were inevitable in the wake of Circuit Judge John Cole's recent ruling disqualifying lawyer Valerie Thompson Bailey from challenging Circuit Judge Tim Fox.
A recent ruling from Circuit Judge John Cole disqualified Valerie Thompson Bailey from challenging Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox. A past suspension in her law license disqualified her, Cole ruled; though it was merely an administrative suspension, "a suspension is a suspension is a suspension" Cole found. Now it turns out that...Judge Time Fox had his license suspended too. And Arkansas Appeals Court Judge Rhonda Wood too. Are they disqualified too?
Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, a candidate for Arkansas Court of Appeals, has still not issued a public statement about his investigation by a judicial ethics agency for comments made on an LSU fan website. Under a pseudonym Maggio apparently made dozens of provocative comments and also revealed a confidential adoption proceeding in his court by the famous actress, Charlize Theron.
Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner made an initial appearance in court today on recently filed federal charges that she'd illegally spent campaign money on herself. David Goins of Fox 16/KARK reports that Shoffner had no comment for reporters and that her attorney said he was prepared for trial Monday on earlier charges that she took money from a securities salesman in return for state bond business.
Two people were killed with two trains collided near Hwy. 67 early this morning, and State Police are evacuating residents of the southern end of the city while the trains burn. U.S. 67 south of Hoxie and U.S. 63 are closed. The trains were carrying hazardous chemicals.
Give Arkansas a Raise Now, the group seeking to qualify a ballot measure to raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour by 2017, turned in an additional 69,070 signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office today.
American Bridge, the liberal PAC formed by David Brock, the former Clinton foe now dedicated to round-the-clock Hillary Clinton defender, is out today with a new report on environmental impacts and layoffs from Koch Industries. The report focuses on the business activities of the Koch brothers — more famous for hundreds of millions in political spending aimed at slashing government services, regulation and taxes — in twelve states, including Arkansas. From the report: "The Kochs' extreme, self-serving agenda is bad for working families. And that reality is starkly embodied not only by their political persuasions, but by their business endeavors."
Ceramicist Barbara Satterfield, one of the Arkansas Times' "Visionaries" in 2013, has announced the creation of a touring, interactive sculpture exhibit that will be installed in public places in Helena, Heber Springs, Dardanelle and Warren before the final exhibition at the Cox Creative Center.