Judicial candidates may face problems with suspended law licenses | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 28, 2014

Judicial candidates may face problems with suspended law licenses

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Claudia Lauer reports in this morning's paper on judicial candidates with law licenses suspended for failure to pay licensing fees, potentially throwing a wrench in the campaigns of two circuit judges seeking re-election, a prosecuting attorney seeking re-election, and a lawyer running for a circuit judge slot: 

The failures to pay caused a temporary license suspension that could interfere with the lawyers’ bids for elected office under Arkansas law, which requires that circuit court candidates have a valid license and practice law for six consecutive years before they file for office and that prosecuting attorney candidates have a valid license and practice for four years.

Alex Reed, a spokesman for the Arkansas secretary of state’s office, said he has received several calls about the candidates’ status.

“Someone would have to file a challenge in court,” Reed said. “We do not have the power to disqualify or to determine whether a candidate is qualified to run for office. That power rests with the judiciary.”

As of Thursday night, no lawsuits had been filed challenging the qualifications of the four candidates.

The licenses for 19th Judicial District-East Circuit Judge Gerald Kent Crow, 19th Judicial District-West Circuit Judge Tom Smith and Helena-West Helena lawyer Jeanette Whatley, who is seeking a 1st Judicial District Circuit Court seat, were listed as suspended as of March 8, according to the Arkansas Judiciary Department’s records.

Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington paid the overdue license fee online Thursday afternoon after being contacted by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was listed in good standing by close of business Thursday.

This is an issue that Blue Hog Report also highlighted regarding Angela Byrd, who is running for circuit judge in Faulkner County. As Blue Hog blogger Matt Campbell noted, in Circuit Judge John Cole's recent ruling disqualifying lawyer Valerie Thompson Bailey from challenging Circuit Judge Tim Fox, Cole stated: 

A suspension is a suspension is suspension. It doesn’t matter if it’s administrative or disciplinary.

In other words, though the situations of Byrd and the others listed above probably amount to minor oversights, Cole's decision arguably suggests that they are disqualified from running.  

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • Authorities investigate accusation against Dean Elliott

    An accusation has been lodged against Dean Elliott, the Dillard's lobbyist and former state representative who is running for the District 15 seat in the state Senate, by a woman who claims that he was involved in a 2016 hit and run incident on Tennyson Drive in Conway that left her with severe injuries. Through a lawyer, Elliott says the allegation is false and politically motivated.
    • May 17, 2018
  • Rep. Jana Della Rosa disputes that Randell Shelton's Paradigm Consulting was a "bogus company"

    During the trial of former state Sen. Jon Woods and consultant Randell Shelton, the prosecution described Shelton's Paradigm Strategic Consulting as a "bogus company." But Rep. Jana Della Rosa, who paid Paradigm in 2014 for help with campaign messaging, said that Shelton did legitimate work for her.
    • May 16, 2018
  • A senator's vanity

    Spotted in Little Rock...
    • May 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017
  • UPDATE: Hutchinson moves to cover himself on cut to War Memorial Stadium

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson apparently felt the burn from KARK's exclusive Tuesday night on his plans to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half beginning July 1, 2018. He has a so-far secret plan to make the stadium self-sustaining. We bet that doesn't include state support.
    • Oct 20, 2016

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation