by Max Brantley
A little birdie reports that another run will be made before the Pulaski Quorum Court next Tuesday to put a veneer of respectability on the conflicted, messy shambles that is Circuit Judge Willard Proctor's Cycle Breakers probation program. The putative nonprofit, which lists no employees, would be authorized to pay money to county employees under one ordinance and the judge's chief probation officer, who signed a questionable real estate purchase for Cycle Breakers as a county employee, would get a pay raise.
We reported recently that the FBI had subpoenaed records of this organization. We know the judge tried to fly his staff at county expense to an out-of-state retreat. We know staff members have departed. We know a state audit found multiple problems with the way the program is run. We know many lawyers don't like the looks of Proctor's system of essentially providing a way for defendants to buy their way out of sentences by making payments to a nonprofit he created. We have reason to believe the state's judicial discipline agency is reviewing the court's activities. Rumors are rampant about more revelations.
Is this really the time for the Quorum Court to be putting a seal of approval on these activities? Wouldn't be prudent.