The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has again found Judge L.T. Simes of Helena-West Helena ran afoul of the ethics code by ruling in a case in which he was personally embroiled. The commission recommended that he be removed from the bench for a pattern of ethical breaches. Commissioner Leon Jamison, a circuit judge, dissented. The recommendation goes to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Simes, who was suspended from the bench by the Arkansas Supreme Court last year and then ran for a new term, has a "proclivity for making decisions that result in negatively affecting the integrity of the judiciary," the committee said. He's been disciplined four times in 13 years.
Jamison said he would have dismissed the latest complaint, but recommended no more than a reprimand. He said the case also was "stale" and argued that Simes shouldn't be removed for events that occurred before his recent re-election to a six-year term. The older complaints were given new life by the commission after he ran for a new term.