by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has issued an advisory opinion that says newly-elected Little Rock District Judge Mark Leverett may not serve as a part-time deputy public defender in Sherwood while he holds office as the city's environmental judge.
(Actually, the original opinion, now revised, said erroneously that the request was that he serve as a deputy prosecutor. Given the way the opinion was written, it said that part-time work is not allowed for the district judge on either side of the counsel table in another court in the same county.)
In last week's Insider, we reported on the request from Leverett. Our report indicated that Leverett had asked about his ability to be a public defender. Attempts to clear up various issues with Leverett have been unfruitful. He's declined to talk with us further because of our reporting about several of his miscues on political contributions and other matters as a judicial candidate.
We also quoted Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore as saying the challenges the city faced from a code standpoint were significant and needed to be addressed by a full-time environmental court judge.
Moore said the salary for a district judge ($134,292 per year, with estimated benefits totaling $30,899) was commensurate with a full-time position.
The opinion says that judicial duties are "paramount to any private practice."