Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ben Lipscomb, former Rogers city attorney, strikes deal for light punishment

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2016 at 11:35 AM

The Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct last week reached a deal with former Rogers City Attorney Ben Lipscomb under which he was reprimanded and fined $4,100 for engaging in "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation."

The finding is laid out in a 12-page decision.

Among other things, Lipscomb continued to hold the office of city attorney though he moved out of the city in May 2011. He voted in a Rogers election in 2013 despite living outside the city. The finding  said that he wasn't entitled to some $500,000 in pay over the period he continued to serve while not a resident.

The committee also faulted Lipscomb for conflict of interest in suing the city, using information he'd gained as city attorney against the city, and for instructing other city employees to do work on his case.

Lipscomb was elected in 1997 and served through January 2015. Lipscomb sued the city after the scope of his office was redefined amid squabbles with other city officials. He settled his suit against the city for more than $250,000, representing what he'd have been paid had he staid in office through 2016.

Among others, the Supreme Court Committee settlement with Lipscomb said:

45. As part of the overall settlement, among other obligations and conditions, Lipscomb agreed to never seek elective office in the City of Rogers, or to seek employment with the City of Rogers.

46. As part of the overall settlement, among other obligations and conditions, Lipscomb agreed to not use the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act to harass the City of Rogers.

47. As part of the overall settlement, among other obligations and conditions, Lipscomb agreed that his spouse would dismiss her health records privacy lawsuit against the City.

48. Lipscomb’s conduct during the past several years has lead to publicity that has been negative to the legal profession and his client the City of Rogers.
Lipscomb remains a licensed attorney.

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