Arkansas SC suspends judge
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline)-An Arkansas circuit court judge has been suspended for the remainder of his term over judicial misconduct.
"We conclude that the conduct of Judge Simes does not warrant permanent removal from the bench," state Supreme Court Justice Robert Brown wrote for the high court's majority. "We conclude further that the more appropriate sanction for his conduct is suspension without pay."
The court announced the suspension of the 1st Judicial District judge Thursday.
Circuit Court Judge L.T. Simes was accused of practicing law after being elected to the bench.
Simes argued that he had been fired from acting as administrator of an estate and had done nothing wrong. But, records indicated that Simes had billed for the case after being elected judge in 1997.
In a 5-2 decision, Simes was suspended for the remainder of his term. The justices also said that Simes could practice law and run for judgeship again once the suspension is over at the end of 2010.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Jim Hannah said that Simes should be permanently removed from the bench.