Conway City Attorney Mike Murphy has been appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to complete Mike Maggio's term as circuit court judge. The term ends on Dec. 31, after which Murphy will begin his term as a newly elected circuit judge in a different division.
Murphy said that with the appointment, he and the other 20th Judicial District circuit judges will "get our heads together and talk about moving these cases in the most efficient manner possible."
"I'm looking forward to helping our judges with what is obviously a backlog created with lack of this docket moving efficiently since March," Murphy said.
The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered Maggio removed from office, with Chief Justice Jim Hannah writing that suspension with pay until the end of Maggio’s term was an inappropriate sanction.
Maggio had been officially suspended with pay in August as part of agreed-upon sanctions with the state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Before that, in March, the state Supreme Court stripped Maggio’s court of its docket — an effective suspension — after Maggio’s misogynistic, homophobic and generally malanthropic online persona was exposed.
As the user "geauxjudge," on a LSU fan forum, Maggio left what JDDC executive director David Sachar described in the sanction order as "numerous facts in the posts that prove your actual identity."
The Conway City Council is planning a special meeting, tentatively set for noon in the District Court building, to accept Murphy's resignation as city attorney. He has been the elected city attorney for more than 20 years.
Deputy City Attorney Chuck Clawson will succeed Murphy as City Attorney. Clawson filed to run for the position and didn't draw a challenger.