Judicial panel also reviewing Maggio's campaign contributions | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 17, 2014

Judicial panel also reviewing Maggio's campaign contributions

Posted By on Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 2:44 PM

click to enlarge NEW INQUIRY: Mike Maggio's canmpaign contributions getting a review.
  • NEW INQUIRY: Mike Maggio's canmpaign contributions getting a review.
The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission acknowledged today that it is reviewing circumstances of campaign contributions made to Circuit Judge Mike Maggio's aborted race for Arkansas Court of Appeals.

The panel already was investigating comments Maggio made under a pseudonym to an LSU fan website. Remarks about women, race and sexual orientation were at issue, as well as his revealing information about the confidential adoption of a child in Faulkner County by actress Charlize Theron.

Since then, reports have emerged noting the coincidence of timing in creation of political action committees by Little Rock lawyer Chris Stewart. All the PACs got initial contributions from  the nursing home empire of Michael Morton of Fort Smith. He also controlled a nursing home on the losing end of a $5.2 million jury verdict in Maggio's court. Maggio ultimately reduced the verdict to $1 million.

A statement today from David Sachar, executive director of the Judicial panel:

The Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission is aware of the general allegations concerning campaign contributions to Circuit Judge Mike Maggio’s race for the Court of Appeals. Under Rule 7C(3) I can confirm that there is an on-going investigation into this matter by this agency. Judge Maggio will have full due process rights during our investigation. Procedural rules of the Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission will determine the timing of the events in the case, including when more information is released. This office does not anticipate issuing further public statement until the case concludes. Possible conclusions include dismissal, agreed resolution or public charges.

The PACs created by Stewart gave initially to Maggio, but also have made contributions to Rep. Andrea Lea, a Republican candidate for state auditor; Republican Sen. Bruce Holland, a candidate for re-election; and Stacy Hurst, a Republican candidate for House. I wrote earlier today that Hurst had returned her contributions from the PACs.

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