June 3-9, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
ERNIE PASSAILAIGUE. The director of the South Carolina Lottery was hired to run the new Arkansas lottery for $324,000 — a $100,000 pay raise from his current job, plus he'll now to get to cash more than $100,000 a year in retirement checks.
The ARKANSAS LOTTERY. Somebody is finally in charge. And he knows something about lotteries.
The ARKANSAS RAZORBACK BASEBALL TEAM. The Hogs won a berth in the College World Series.
It was a BAD week for …
TERRORISM. The world was brought to Little Rock's doorstep by news that the suspect in the random shooting of two soldiers was motivated by anger at U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and that he had a list of other potential targets.
CIRCUIT JUDGE WILLARD PROCTOR. He arranged for special judges with ties to his discredited Cycle Breakers probation program to sit in his place to continue to hear Cycle Breakers cases with fees flowing to the organization he started.
DISTRICT JUDGE MARK LEVERETT. He was among Proctor's chums who stepped up to preside for Proctor. Never mind that he has a full-time city judgeship and shouldn't be offering himself as a special judge at all. He has a direct conflict as a former attorney for Cycle Breakers. Yet he told a Democrat-Gazette reporter he couldn't see why Prosecutor Larry Jegley objected to his hearing Cycle Breakers probationers. It's not the first time Leverett has professed to be clueless about judicial ethics rules.
WIND POWER. A new windmill blade plant in Little Rock announced 80 layoffs and another plant said it would delay its opening. A decline in orders was blamed.
MIKE HUCKABEE. He reverted to an old practice, proclaiming certain events to be divinely inspired. Said Bro. Huck: God decided the Brits should lose the Revolutionary War. He also decreed the outcome of the Prop. 8 election in California. No word yet on where God stood on The War Between the States.