Saturday, March 14, 2009

Removal of Judge Simes Sought by Judicial Panel

Report advises circuit judge's removal

BY GINNY LAROE ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE 



    A disciplinary panel has recommended that a Helena-West Helena judge be removed from the bench after finding he acted as an attorney while serving as a judge. 
    Circuit Judge L.T. Simes controlled a family's estate after taking the bench in the 1st Judicial District, which includes six Delta counties. That violated several rules governing judicial conduct, a three-member panel found in 
a report issued Friday. 
    The recommendation now goes to the full panel of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. If the commission finds he should be removed from office, the matter will go before the Arkansas Supreme Court. 
    Simes, 58, became administrator of the Quincy Chandler estate in 1974. Despite his misgivings about staying on after taking the bench in 1997, he continued collecting money associated with rental properties and 
legal fees, the report says. 
    He was discharged from handling the estate in 2004 only after a court order, the report says. 
    Simes made no effort to appropriately handle the rentalproperty money, took no steps to remove himself from the dealings and provided no accounting of the estate's finances despite a judge's order to do so in 2004, the report says. 
    The amount of money Simes collected from the rental properties remains in dispute, but he 
paid some $24,138 to the estate upon the order of a special judge in 2005. Simes' actions were violations of rules that: Restrict a presiding judge from practicing law or appearing as counsel in any court in the state. Mandate judges to avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. Restrict judges from serving in a fiduciary capacity. Simes did not return calls to his home or office. 
    A woman who identified herself only as his wife said: "I always believed that there was some justice in our system, and now I realize there's not." 
    "It's racism," she said, without elaborating. 
    Simes' attorney, George Hairston of New York, suggested during an earlier hearing that the panel was biased and that Simes couldn't get a fair shake. 
    Simes told members of the 
panel that he was fired by the Chandler family in 1990 and that he unsuccessfully tried to remove himself as its attorney and estate administrator. 
    His explanations are a "misstatement of material fact," the report says. It demonstrates a "fundamental lack of knowledge of substantive law and the obligations of a Circuit judge," the report says. 
    This is not Simes' first set of troubles at the commission. Two dozen complaints have been lodged against him since 2004, the most against any judge in that time frame, officials have said. 

    While some charges were dismissed, three cases resulted in sanctions. The charges were for not handling a case swiftly, for producing gospel music with a picture of himself in a judge's robe on CD covers and for soliciting campaign contributions from lawyers who practiced before him. 
    Two other complaints are pending, said David Sachar, the commission's deputy executive director. The cases involve allegations that he improperly pressured the Helena-West Helena 
mayor to reinstate a fired police chief and that he instructed a newspaper reporter not to write an article. 
    The commission has not set a hearing date for those mat
ters. 
    This is the first time since at least July 2007 that a commission panel has recommended removing a judge from office, said David Stewart, the commission's 
executive director. 
    He declined to discuss the panel's findings, saying it would be "premature" since a final decision has not been made. 
    Simes has 20 days to object to the report. He was provided with a copy Friday. 
    The full panel — composed of lawyers, judges and community members — will meet in private to discuss the case. If the panel recommends something short of suspension or removal from office, that decision is final. 
    Serving on the three-member panel were Fayetteville Circuit Judge William Storey, attorney John C. Everett of Fayetteville and the Rev. Maxine Allen of Little Rock.

Simes

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Honorable James F. Valley
MAYOR - Helena West Helena
P O Box 248
Helena-West Helena, 72342
870-572-3421 Phone
870-572-5034 Fax
870-817-4035 Cell

http://tinyurl.com/march172009agenda (City Council Agenda)

esoteric: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.comDictionary.com Word of the Day

EveryLearner.com

Word of the Day for Saturday, March 14, 2009

esoteric \es-uh-TER-ik\, adjective:

1. understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite
2. belonging to the select few
3. private; secret; confidential
4. (of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group

Even in rehearsals, I didn't realize it would be as popular as it proved. After I read it, I said: 'It's brilliant, but it's quite esoteric.' We scheduled 70 or 80 performances.
-- Nicholas Hytner

c. 1645-55, Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of esō, within

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for esoteric


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Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekly Report


March 16, 2009

Code Enforcement Weekly Report

March 9, 2009 – March 13, 2009

 

Department:   Code Enforcement

Date:     March 16, 2009

Prepared by:  Terrence Oliver, Joshua McIntosh & Patrick Allen

Code Enforcement Officers

 

Special Weekly Activities

 

·         Patrick, Josh and Terrance attended Planning Commission training in Hot Springs, March 11, 2009.

 

Complaints by Citizens

 

·         138 Anderson – citizen complained about 3 puppies being neglected and dying while locked in a cage, on March 13, 2009.

·         Citizens wanting caution lights and signs in and around school zones.

 

Cited Vehicle

·         None

 

Mailed Postcards

·         None

 

Fuel

·         Dodge Charger- White 2008

o   3/10/09- $ 11.00

o   3/11/09 - $32.00

·         GMC Truck

o   3/13/09 - $31.00

Mail

·         $5.04

Letters Mailed

 

·         Canlas Corazon – 1302 Cherry St.

·         Jordan Redd Sr. – 743 Aaron

·         Blanca Diaz – Lot 2&3 Smithville Subdivision

·         Lakeisha Ross – 408 Valley Dr.

·         Dewayne Stackhouse – 632 Seminole

·         Walter Vaughn – 63 Plaza

·         Bettye J. Hallmark – 515 College

·         Laura Ellenburg – 517-519 Cherry St.

·         Charles Weaver & Richard Brister – 307 Nth 5th St.

·         Fred Coleman – 1 Plaza Ave.

·         Lynn Young – 20 W. Park Lot 58

 

Lots with piles of debris

 

·         141 Center St.

·         138 S. 6th St.

·         727 Pecan St.

·         462 Washington St.

·         207 S. Sam St.

·         200Blk Jane St.

·         58 Lincoln Ct.

·         800Blk Cherry St

·         100Blk E. Park St

·         510 W. Park St.

·         202 Madison St.

·         216 Beech St.

·         Joe Brady Dr.

 

Approved Condemned House List from Planning Commission

 

·         717 Bennett St.

·         723 Bennett St.

·         Block 26 Lot 1-3- Adams St

·         276 Westwood Pl

·         1433 Perry St

·         314 Hernando St.

·         204/206/208/210 Don St.

·         Block 44 Lot 5- Franklin St.

·         837 Alabama St

·         401/403 Missouri St

·         731 Aaron St

·         200 S. Sam St.

·         1510 Holly St

·         909 College St

·         1503 Franklin St

·         315 S 6th St.

·         1535 Sulphur Springs

·         1429 Holly St

·         305 Lithicum

·         1022/1024 Poplar St.

·         238 N 7th St.- Robert Lewis

·         1201 Franklin St- Bernard Scoggins

·         Lot 5 Block 44- Adams St. Ezekiel Young

·         1128 Beech St.- Webster Ovie & Dorothy

·         1513/1517 Franklin – Garland Ridenour

·         Lot 29-32 Block 24 Valley Dr David Braggs

·         Lot 22 Elm St. – Carolyn Sparks

·         21 Lincoln Ct. – Aline Cannon

·         927 Walnut St.- John Broome

·         107 S. Sebastian St.- James English

·         1114 Porter St

·         Lot 5 Block 43 Adams St.

·         237 Nth 7th St.

           

Lien or Affidavit Issued

·         None

 

Future Weekly Activities

 

·         Continue addressing overgrown lots and dilapidated structures

·         Patrick Allen is scheduled to test on International Code Council exam March 27, 2009

·         Adopt International Property and Zoning Codes

·         Historic District Meeting list of Property owners to contact-Pending

o   810 Columbia- Ed & Verna Boyd

o   1321 College St.- Laura Ellenburg

o   522-528 Cherry St. -Dorothy Ellis of California

 

 

 

Follow-up Activities

 

·         Green Chevy Impala in shop for:

o   Driver Window

o   Driver Mirror

o   Instrument Panel Lights

o   Fuel Pump & Filter

 

Staff Concerns

 

·         Code Enforcement Software

Terrance Oliver
H-WH Code Enforcement Officer
98 Plaza St.
Helena-West Helena, AR 72390
(870) 572-2528 Office
(870) 338-1056 Cell
(870) 572-5034 Fax

District Court Weekly DHR (3-16-09)

WEEKLY DEPARTMENT REPORT

(Period of March 6 - 12, 2009)


 

Department: Helena-West Helena District Court

Date:    March 16, 2009

Prepared by:    Linda Danley


 

SPECIFIC WEEKLY ACTIVITIES:

March 6 - 12, 2009 - Processed civil and small claims actions as received; input traffic violations and criminal actions into court database in preparation for arraignment; and prepared scheduled traffic violations and criminal actions for bench trial.


 

Fri., March 6, 2009 (9:00 A.M.) - Plea/Arraignment & Review Docket

    Total number of cases scheduled – 291


 

Thurs., March 12, 2009 (9:00 A.M.) - Bench Trials on Traffic Violations

    Total number of cases scheduled – 23


 

Thurs., March 12, 2009 (1:30 P.M.) - Bench Trials on Criminal Actions

    Total number of cases scheduled - 39


 

---------------------------------------------------------------

Breakdown of Traffic and Criminal Actions

Resolved during the period of March 6 - 12, 2009


 

Jurisdiction: City of Helena-West Helena

Finding

Criminal

DWI

Juvenile

Traffic

Total

BF

5

  

26

31

DM

10

 

1

13

24

G

3

1

1

24

29

NG

2

   

2

NP

8

   

8

PRB

1

  

7

8

WQ

1

   

1

TOTAL

30

1

2

70

103


 


 

Jurisdiction: City of West Helena-OLD

Finding

DWI

Total

G

1

1

TOTAL

1

1


 


 

Jurisdiction: Phillips County

Finding

Criminal

Juvenile

Traffic

Total

BF

  

10

10

DM

3

1

10

14

G

1

 

11

12

PRB

  

3

3

TOTAL

4

1

34

39


 


 

ALL JURISDICTIONS

Finding

Criminal

DWI

Juvenile

Traffic

Total

BF

5

  

36

41

DM

13

 

2

23

38

G

4

2

1

35

42

NG

2

   

2

NP

8

   

8

PRB

1

  

10

11

WQ

1

   

1

TOTAL

34

2

3

104

143


 

KEY:

BF – Bond Forfeit        NP – Nolle Prosequi

DM – Dismissed        PRB - Probation

G – Guilty             WQ – Warrant Quashed

NG – Not Guilty

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jail Roster

(February March 6 - 12, 2009)


 

Defendant

Docket #

Arrest

Date

Release/

Sent. Date

Status/Disposition

Avance, Evone

CR-09-554

03/01/09

03/06/09

Plea of not guilty. Case set for 03/26/09.

Johnson, Cornell

CR-09-794

02/26/09

03/06/09

Plea of not guilty. Case set for 04/02/09. Released O.R.

Reed, Ronald

DWI-09-16

TR-09-984

03/04/09

03/06/09

Please of not guilty. Case set for 04/30/09. Released O.R.


 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------


 

FUTURE WEEKLY ACTIVITIES:

•Fri., March 13, 2009 (9:00 a.m.) - Plea/Arraignment

•Wed., March 18, 2009 (9:00 a.m.) - Civil & Small Claims Trial

•Thurs., March 19, 2009 (9:00 a.m.) - Bench Trials on Traffic Violations

•Thurs., March 19, 2009 (1:30 p.m.) - Bench Trials on Criminal Actions     

•Fri., March 20, 2009 (9:00 a.m.) - Plea/Arraignment

Thurs., March 26, 2009 (9:00 a.m.) - Bench Trials on Traffic Violations

•Thurs., March 26, 2009 (1:30 p.m.) - Bench Trials on Criminal Actions     

•Fri., March 27, 2009 (9:00 a.m.) - Plea/Arraignment

•Thurs. & Fri., April 23 – 24, 2009 – District Court Judges & Clerk's Meeting

(Hot Springs, Arkansas) – NO COURT


 

FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES:

•    Enter dispositions into court database of cases brought before the court on March 13, 2009 (Plea Day) until completed.


 

•    Process civil and small claims actions as they are received.


 

•    Input new citations and criminal actions as they are received from the Records Department into database in preparation for court.


 

•    Prepare pending actions for trial.


 


 

STAFF CONCERNS/ISSUES:

•    Server for the court database system.