LITTLE ROCK — A state panel that enforces Arkansas’ rules of judicial conduct has recommended the suspension of a circuit judge who was arrested on charges including driving while intoxicated and fleeing.
The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission on Wednesday submitted a petition to the state Supreme Court recommending the suspension of Circuit Judge Bill Pearson, who serves in the 5th Judicial District. The district includes Franklin, Johnson and Pope counties.
According to the petition, the Arkansas State Police was operating a sobriety checkpoint on Arkansas 109 in Johnson County on Jan. 20 when Pearson allegedly refused to stop at the checkpoint. Pearson allegedly led officers on a chase for about 1½ miles before being stopped in Clarksville.
After officers stopped him, Pearson allegedly again tried to flee, and officers had to block his vehicle to stop him from doing so, the commission said in the petition.
Pearson was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, fleeing, reckless driving and refusal to submit to a chemical test.
The commission voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that Pearson be suspended temporarily, with pay, until disciplinary proceedings against him are concluded.
Pearson has been a circuit judge in the 5th Judicial District since 2008.