The Arkansas Judicial Disability and Discipline Commission announced disciplinary action against two judges today.
* DISTRICT JUDGE BRAD KARREN OF ROGERS
: He was reprimanded for actions in two cases. 1) Sitting as a special circuit judge, he issued orders relative to handling of a juvenile related to one of his employees. He communicated with his employee and her husband ex parte
, or without the prosecutor presence, and also gave the family visitation rights that diverged from normal procedure. 2) He set a bond, lower than had been requested by the prosecutor, for a rape suspect he'd once represented in private practice. Karren's agreement that he'd violated a number of rules of conduct led the agency to issue a reprimand, rather than hold a public hearing on charges. He agreed not to repeat violations of rules he'd broken. Karren is currently running for a circuit judgeship.
* CIRCUIT JUDGE EDWIN KEATON OF CAMDEN
: He was censured for his delay in acting on three cases — one juvenile, one criminal and one a divorce case. The letter to him from the Commission notes he'd received disciplinary action before. He was censured because, the letter said, he'd agreed to the violations and acknowledged that they could have had more serious consequences. He promised to do better, including clearing his docket of any cases pending more than 60 days, and to take a judicial time management class.
Here's a link to full text of the letters written to the judges.