LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A former Carroll County District Court judge is facing a criminal investigation after resigning from the bench on Dec. 31.
The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission (JDDC) announced the resignation and removal of Judge Timothy Parker in a news release issued on Tuesday.
"These kind of cases are the ones that make you proud that you're able to get rid of the person and also to send the message that these kind of people don't need to be in the judiciary," says David Sachar, JDDC Executive Director.
The JDDC says Parker turned in his resignation as part of a negotiated resolution "due to his permanent ineligibility to hold judicial office."
The panel's Letter of Removal sent to Parker on Dec. 31 cited allegations that Parker had traded judicial decisions for sexual favors, prescription pills and cash in a string of cases. Specific instances of judicial misconduct included:
- June 2013: Parker ordered a female friend of his to be released from jail without bail and then gave her a ride home.
- Parker, over the course of several years, improperly performed probable cause determinations, lowered bail settings, and released defendants on their own recognizance to the benefit of many defendants who were either friends of his or former clients from his part time private practice.
- Parker is accused of "engaging in a pattern of personal relationships with many female litigants" who appeared in his court. "The bonds or release of these women or their family or friends were done by their request in exchange for sexual favors. Allegations also exist about trading cash or prescription pills for sexual favors or money with many of the same women, as well as other women in the community."
- The JDDC letter to Parker states that it has "video statements from more than a dozen women, as well as recordings of conversations women in the jail had with you in your role as District Court Judge," in addition to "print outs of text messages from your cell phone and from the phones of female litigants with cases in District Court also support these allegations."
"You have denied these allegations are based on fact and dispute all of them," the letter states.
Parker's case will be sent to the prosecutor for review and to determine any charges he may face. Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett confirmed that an active investigation into the allegations is ongoing.
Parker, who had served in his post since 2013 and had previously served as an elected Municipal Court Judge from 1999-2004 in Eureka Springs, will no longer be able to serve as a judge in the State of Arkansas.
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