The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission
voted unanimously this morning to ask the Arkansas Supreme Court
to suspend Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister
with pay because he's facing four felony charges for failing to file state income tax returns.
The pending charges affect McCallister's ability to discharge his duties, said a Commission petition to the Arkansas Supreme Court. The court hasn't yet ruled, but routinely suspends judges facing charges. He won't be sitting as a judge in the meanwhile because the chief judge in his judicial district has been working to reassign cases to other judges in the district and also with appointed judges.
A special prosecutor charged McCallister in an investigation that had already produced ethical charges by the Discipline Commission. McCallister's failure to file in four of the last 22 years turned up as a result of testimony in his divorce case. He also has filed
to file federal tax returns in most of those years and has had more than $100,000 in federal liens filed against him. He's paid $160,000 as a circuit judge, a job he's held for eight years. There's been no accounting yet on what his tax liability might be once any withholdings from his pay are taken into consideration.
McCallister surrendered on the charges in Saline County yesterday and released on his own recognizance.
Here's the petition for McCallister's suspension.