Simes' judicial seat filled | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Simes' judicial seat filled

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Gov. Mike Beebe today appointed retired Judge Harvey Yates of Helena-West Helena to serve in place of Circuit Judge L.T. Simes, who was suspended from the bench by the state Supreme Court for an ethics violation -- practicing law while a judge.

A split Arkansas Supreme Court suspended Simes without pay from his duties throughout 2010. The Judicial Discipline Commission had recommended his removal. The court noted that Simes could not practice law, unless he resigned from the bench. There's no record he's resigned. The governor's office said it acted to replace him because, by statute, a suspension is a circumstance in which the governor may exercise the constitutional appointment power. The Supreme Court sent the governor's office notice of the suspension.

Meanwhile, Simes faces still more ethics charges before the Judicial Discipline Commission. He could run in the 2010 election for the same seat.

One more thing, if Simes doesn't resign and the pending ethics action isn't completed by election time, he can appear on the ballot as "Judge" Simes. That's considered a big plus for candidates, but most expect him to be unopposed.

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