Sing on, judge | Arkansas Blog

Sing on, judge

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Circuit Judge L.T. Simes of Helena-West Helena has ongoing problems with the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission over his conduct on and off the bench. Just today, the Arkansas Supreme Court denied his petition for a delay in a coming disciplinary hearing. But he did get a separate judicial ethics advisory commission's OK today for some gospel singing.

In response to his request for an advisory opinion, the advisory commission has signed off on the judge's creation of a nonprofit, Holy Spirit 777, to sell gospel recordings to raise money for charitable purposes. This includes a website about the music and including an extensive autobiography of the judge. But the site is scrubbed of photographs of the judge in judicial robes and references to his judicial position.

The commission said the judge could engage in such activities as long as he complies with other ethical rules, such as being sure that outside activities don't interfere with judicial duties and that he not use his judicial office to advance private interests.

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