Arkansas Judge Seeks Removal Of Investigator In Ethics Case

Aug 7, 2018

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen during a death penalty demonstration outside of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in April 2017. His participation came the same day as an order about death penalty cases, prompting the Arkansas Supreme Court to bar him from considering execution-related cases.
Credit Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge who was banned from hearing execution cases after participating in an anti-death penalty demonstration is seeking the removal of an attorney investigating his ethics complaint against the state Supreme Court.

An attorney for Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen said Tuesday the judge is asking the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to relieve J. Brent Standridge of his duties as a special counsel investigating Griffen's ethics complaint. Griffen attorney Mike Laux claimed Standridge has gathered zero evidence to support or disprove Griffen's complaint that the court violated judicial ethics rules.

Justices disqualified Griffen from execution related cases after he was photographed lying on a cot outside the governor's mansion during an anti-death penalty demonstration. Earlier that day, Griffen blocked Arkansas from using a lethal injection drug.