Favorite

Judicial rumors 

Judicial rumors

Now that Mark Pryor is Arkansas's senior senator, scuttlebutt has changed in regards to pending federal judicial vacancies in Arkansas. A seat in the Western District, where Judge Harry Barnes took senior status, remains an open question. A seat in the Eastern District in Little Rock likewise still lacks a nominee. Here's where the scuttlebutt comes in. Word comes that Pryor is pushing hard for nomination of Amy Russell, wife of his former top aide Bob Russell, for the judgeship. It's a move that doesn't sit well with some Democrats, who believe a Democratic president should look at hard at political credentials. Russell is a former campaign contributor to George W. Bush. She reportedly is now under White House review.


Wrinkle in robbery

Joe Alley, who shot two alleged robbers who'd taken cash from him at his Joe's Grocery and Deli on Col. Glenn Road earlier this week, has a criminal record on drug charges that raises the question of whether he could legally possess a gun.

The Times uncovered this information last week and other media subsequently followed up on our report, confirmed by Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley and the case file.

Alley entered negotiated pleas June 11, 2001, to two Class D felony charges for failing to report sales of "drug precursors," specifically pseudoephedrine, used in making methamphetamines. He received four years' probation and a $10,000 fine. He was initially charged with five felonies, including manufacture of meth at the grocery. His wife Sana was also charged, but charges against her were dropped. Information in the file said he sold bulk quantities of over-the-counter drugs used in making meth, including on several occasions to undercover officers.


Felon with firearm

State law prohibits people convicted of felonies from owning or possessing firearms. Prosecutor Larry Jegley said Alley had told police officers that his attorney in the case had taken steps to restore his firearm rights, but we've been unable to contact his attorney to confirm that. A motion to seal the file in his case because Alley completed probation is pending. That might qualify Alley for expungement of his record and end the bar to his possession of a weapon.

The case file shows that a condition of his probation was that he not possess a weapon. Alley told the Democrat-Gazette in an article published Friday that there'd been a gun in the store since he took it over in 1979.

Jegley said he wasn't prepared to comment on what course he might take, if any, if Alley still was prohibited from possessing a firearm. He said he first wants to see investigations from Little Rock police on the reported robbery of the store and then on the review of Alley's shooting of two suspects. One was shot in the leg and the other was shot in the chest but are expected to survive. They drove away from the scene, but didn't get far before stopping and calling 911 for medical assistance.

We tried to call Alley. His son answered the store telephone and said his father was not granting further interviews. Asked about the old case, he said, "That was over 15 years ago." He referred questions to Alley's attorney. According to a record of the case, Alley was charged for incidents in 2000.


Partisan government

An orientation session was held recently for newly elected county clerks, including Dennis Milligan of Saline County. Milligan didn't attend, another attendee reported. But a man who said he represented Milligan, and who identified himself as an employee of the Republican Party, said he had one question: "He wanted to know how Milligan could fire all his employees," our source said.

Milligan shortly created a local controversy by firing several employees, including one he'd initially told would be retained. She was fired after posting regrets for her colleagues on a Facebook page and saying she'd pray for them. She's filed a lawsuit over her firing. The state Constitution gives county officials broad authority to hire and fire employees, but it will be a question for a court to decide whether that includes firing someone for exercising a free speech right.

Milligan didn't return our call on his representative at the clerks' meeting.


Blast from the past

It's ancient history now, but some might remember Paul Levy, director of the state energy office in Bill Clinton's first term as Arkansas governor in 1979-80. He was one of several brainy Yankees who joined the Clinton team. Like some others, he soon found themselves crosswise locally for, how would you put it?, overly ambitious ways. In Levy's case, he made the mistake of wisecracking to Arkansas Democrat columnist and managing editor John R. Starr about a newspaper report on an agency expenditure on a staff retreat, including corkscrews for attendees. It helped inspire a regular Boondoggler award from Starr, mostly awarded to Clinton administration efforts. Levy soon enough was gone, along with Clinton, defeated by Frank White in 1980.

Levy was in the news this week in Boston after he stepped down as CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center after nine years. Boston newspaper accounts credit him with guiding the nonprofit to financial health, but he also was embroiled in controversy over his relationship with a female staff member, a relationship that prompted a $50,000 fine from the hospital board. Levy said that controversy played no role in his decision to leave. He said he was 60 and wanted to re-evaluate his career.

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Vive la resistance!

    • Isn't Asa Hutchinson up for re-election 2018?????? Maybe Donald will offer Asa a job in…

    • on December 4, 2016
  • Re: Lessons from Standing Rock

    • How I Was Rescued From Debt And a collapsing Business By Edward Jones.. {jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com}.. Good…

    • on December 3, 2016
  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Thank you, Ruth! Thank you.

    • on December 2, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation