A Faulkner County circuit judge continues to stand by a ruling he made earlier this year that states Andy Shock is eligible to run for the District 10 seat on the Faulkner County Quorum Court.
Complaints arguing against Shock's eligibility were first filed in early March by Shelly Carpenter, who is the daughter of Shock's would-be opponent Johnny Brady. Circuit Judge Chris Carnahan initially found Shock was eligible to run for the District 10 Justice of the Peace position on March 16. However, on March 22, Chris Burks, who represents Shock's opponent, filed a motion requesting a new trial in the matter.
Carnahan again rejected the request to disqualify Shock on Tuesday.
In his order, Carnahan states the complainants did not provide sufficient evidence against Shock and that he stands by his earlier decision that states Shock is eligible to run for the District 10 seat on the Faulkner County Quorum Court.
Carnahan, who was also asked to recuse himself from the case, again stated there was no necessary reason for him to do so.
"The recusal matter was thoroughly argued without Movants providing any evidence necessitating recusal," the Tuesday order reads in part. "In fact, Movants produced no evidence. Repeatedly in the course of the hearing Movants Counsel stated, at least four times, that there was no actual partiality or impropriety alleged by his clients, because 'there is none...' The only statements the court heard of a perceived partiality or impropriety were vague references by Movants' Counsel to such unfounded claims. Additionally, Movants did not allege that the court had communicated any bias toward any of the litigants"
Carpenter and Brady argue that Shock be disqualified from running for the District 10 seat because he currently serves on the Arkansas Board of Parole.
Burks told the Log Cabin Democrat in an email statement on Tuesday that Carpenter and Brady "plan to appeal directly to the Arkansas Supreme Court."
Burks also said he believes there were numerous politically-inspired personal attacks in the hearing leading up to Carnahan's most recent ruling.
"It is clear Judge Carnahan was upset that someone challenged him from ruling on his political ally and supporter's attempt to stay on the ballot," Burks said. "Notably, Judge Carnahan does not deny that he is political allies with Shock, because he can't."
"Also, instead of disagreeing on what the case law says, Judge Carnahan attacks with gratuitous and injudicious statements. No one is attempting to rewrite the law, we just have a disagreement on what it states," Burks further writes in his statement. "Judge Carnahan's opinion included characterizations that unnecessarily personalizes a disagreement."