by Max Brantley
More rumblings today in the matter of Circuit Judge Willard Proctor, whose operation of the Cycle Breakers probation program has been the subject of a critical state audit. It figures, according to sources, in an ongoing investigation of Proctor's court by the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Multiple sources have told of testimony by couthouse workers to the commission. The commission does not comment on incomplete investigations.
My source said the matter is also the subject of a rare sealed proceeding before the Arkansas Supreme Court. Supreme Court Clerk Leslie Steen confirmed for me today that there had been a proceeding of an unspecified nature filed at the Court and a subsequent court response had also been filed under seal. He said he could give no other information, including the date of the filings. He did not confirm that it related to Proctor.
My source, however, said Proctor received a communication from the court today and that he was heard to express happiness about it.
I asked Proctor's lawyer, Blake Hendrix, whether Proctor was the subject of the sealed proceedings and whether he'd comment on that or the reports of a Judicial Commission investigation. After conferring with the judge, Hendrix said he'd have no comment.