The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has announced it has found probable cause of violation of ethical rules by two judges. They can contest the findings in a public hearing before the Commission. Hearing dates have not been set.
Those cited: District Judge Jerry Patterson of Marshall and Circuit Judge L. T. Simes of Helena-West Helena.
Patterson, in an angry dispute with the county over budget matters, allegedly retaliated in various ways, including by dismissing cases that could have produced hefty revenue for the county through fines.
Simes was cited for two separate violations. 1) He engaged in the private practice of law while a judge, which is prohibited. In the course of that work, he also failed to remit rent payments due an estate. 2) He failed to properly handle an election contest filed in his court and also reported erroneously to the Arkansas Supreme Court that he had no undecided cases pending while this case remained undecided. (This is the tangled matter of Arnell Willis v. Jack Crumbly.)