JOHNSON COUNTY (KFSM) — The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission recommended Wednesday (Jan. 25) that Fifth Judicial District Circuit Court Judge William Pearson be suspended with pay following a DWI arrest earlier this month.
Arkansas State Police arrested Pearson on suspicion of DWI and fleeing the night of Jan. 20, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Pearson was arrested about 9:30 p.m. near 1300 Crawford Street, along the west side of Clarksville, according to ASP. Troopers reported a truck failed to stop at a sobriety checkpoint and they pursued it for 1.5 miles before it stopped. Pearson then tried to drive the truck back onto the highway, but was blocked by a trooper’s patrol car, according to ASP.
Pearson paid a $1,405 bond and was released more than 12 hours later, jail records show. He has a court date set for March 3.
Pearson presides over cases in Johnson, Pope and Franklin Counties and has been a Fifth Judicial District Circuit Court judge since 2008. As Division I Judge he maintains all the criminal dockets for all three counties in his district.
In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission decided the charges against Pearson adversely affect his ability to perform his judicial duties and will petition the Arkansas Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the judge with pay pending the outcome of any disciplinary determination.