#10 News Story: Parker resigns as district judge after ethics investigation

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Carroll County District Judge Timothy

Parker resigned and agreed never to

hold judicial office again after an ethics

investigation by the Arkansas Judicial

Discipline and Disability Commission

in January.

Parker submitted his resignation on

Dec. 31, 2016, the last day of his term.

During his time as district judge, he

ruled on cases involving misdemeanor

traffic offenses and small claims.

Parker had served as a district judge

since being appointed to the position

in 2013. He previously served as an

elected municipal court judge in Eureka

Springs from 1999-2004.

According to a letter of

removal from office that

was sent to Parker and

included with a press release

from the commission,

Parker admitted to ordering

a friend to be released

without bail and giving her

a ride home in his car. The

release says he should not

have driven the defendant

home after serving as the judge in her

case that day.

Parker also admitted to improperly

performing probable cause determinations,

lowering bail settings and releasing

defendants who were either friends

of his or former clients from his parttime

private law practice.

The release says

Parker did not properly

disclose his relationships

with these defendants

and often called

the jail personally to arrange

their release.

Parker denied allegations

that he engaged

in a pattern of personal

relationships with many female litigants

who appeared in his court, according to

the letter. The letter says Parker allegedly

released women without bond in exchange

for sexual favors from the women

or their family and friends. Parker

allegedly traded cash and prescription

pills for sexual favors with many of

these same women.

The letter says the commission has

video statements from more than 12

women, recordings of conversations

women in the jail had with Parker and

text messages from Parker’s cell phone

and the phones of female litigants to

support these allegations. The investigation

led to docket sheets and other

records that corroborate the allegations,

the letter says.

Parker resigned before receiving the

details of the disputed allegations, preventing

him from offering his own evidence

or defending the allegations in

detail. Parker said he agreed to resignbecause of the effect litigation would

have on his family, the time and expense

of the litigation and the fact that

his term was set to expire Dec. 31. The

letter says Parker is no longer eligible to

serve in a judicial capacity in Arkansas

again.

Emily White, deputy executive director

of the commission, said Parker was

permanently banned from serving as a

judge in Arkansas to set precedent.

“These are very egregious allegations.

It was important for us to set a

precedent for other judges who may

have conducted this type of conduct

that we will come after you, even the

day you come out of office,” White said.

“The victims deserve to have their story

told, and we wanted to set precedent.”

White said the investigation began in

October 2016 and was a collaboration

among state and local law enforcement.

The press release thanks Carroll County

Sheriff Randy Mayfield and his detectives,

Eureka Springs Police Chief

Thomas Achord and his officers, Arkansas

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s

Cyber Crimes Unit and special prosecuting

attorney Jason Barrett. Barrett is

the contact for the pending criminal investigation

against Parker, White said.

Achord said he was proud of the way

his officers handled the case, saying it

was a pleasure to work with the commission

and other law enforcement

agencies.

“We had an excellent working relationship

with the investigators from the

judicial agency. They came up here or

would call and interview our officers

and also received information from

court documents,” Achord said. “They

built their investigation on statements

and documents we had here locally. It

went well.”

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