LITTLE ROCK — A candidate for an Arkansas circuit judge post should remain on the ballot despite a misdemeanor traffic offense, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in reversing a lower court decision that he was ineligible.
In a 6-1 ruling, justices reversed a Pulaski County judge’s decision barring Adam Weeks from running for the 3rd Judicial District seat. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris ruled that Week’s 1994 guilty plea for presenting fake car tags counted as an “infamous crime” under Arkansas’ constitution and made him ineligible for the ballot.
Court records show that at the time of the offense, Weeks’s parents allowed him to use a car from a lot they owned while his car was undergoing repairs.
The Supreme Court, however, ruled that Weeks’ conviction did not require a finding or admission of deceit, fraud or false statement, which are used to define infamous crimes.
“Appellant Weeks’s name shall appear on the ballot and votes for him shall be counted,” the court ruled.
Weeks is a district judge from Lawrence County. His local judgeship, which he was elected to in 2014, is not covered by the provision that was used to disqualify him from the circuit court seat election.
“We are delighted that the Supreme Court ruled in our favor. Removing me from the ballot simply because at 18 years old I drove a car one day with dealership tags from a car dealership that my family owned was absurd and I’m glad the Supreme Court allows me to continue running for judge,” Weeks said in a statement.
Judy Miller, a Randolph County voter, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 6 challenging Weeks’ candidacy. Chris Burks, her attorney, said they were disappointed with the ruling.
“It’s about the principle of the law and we disagree with the Supreme Court majority about the law, but we will follow it and certainly abide by it,” Burks said.
The 3rd Judicial District covers Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph and Sharp counties in northeastern Arkansas. Three candidates are also in the running for the judgeship: Joe Grider, of Pocahontas, Hollie Wilson of Ash Flat and Timothy T. Watson Sr., of Newport.