No action on Proctor | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No action on Proctor

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Pulaski County circuit judges today voted 10-4 to table a recommendation that Circuit Judge Willard Proctor temporarily not be assigned criminal cases. The recommendation came from Judge Tim Fox, who said the move would remove even the appearance of conflict while a state judicial discipline body reviews Proctor's extraordinary probation program, Cycle Breakers. It has been the subject of widespread criticism and investigations, partly for his practice of jailing people for failure to pay fees set by the probation program for such infractions as failing to turn in book reports.

Fox's motion drew a second, but a motion to table was offered by Judge Chris Piazza and it prevailed without discussion, with Fox withdrawing his motion. A deal apparently was worked out in advance. Proctor, who was accompanied by attorneys, didn't speak. (Among those spotted in the crowd was recently elected District Judge Mark Leverett, who once acted as attorney for the Cycle Breakers program, including when it was resisting FOI requests about its controversial acquisition of a building near an  LR elementary school.) Judges apparently were reluctant to recommend a change in case assignment to the Arkansas Supreme Court. It is known that the court, in a sealed proceeding and on a split vote, decided against an immediate suspension of Proctor while the disciplinary proceeding was pending. It will be subject of a public hearing in April.

Read more about the Proctor case in the coming issue of the Arkansas Times. Mara Leveritt takes another look.

-- Mara Leveritt



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