Arkansas State Police have released a video of 20th Judicial District Circuit Judge Mike Maggio during a routine traffic stop in Van Buren County in July.
A trooper pulled over Maggio for speeding on Highway 65.
According to the patrol car video, Maggio exited his vehicle after the stop but quickly returned to the driver’s seat. The trooper approached the vehicle, identified himself and informed Maggio he was being pulled over for speeding. It is unclear how fast Maggio was driving.
Maggio advised the trooper he was late for court. The trooper can be heard in the video saying, "I see your badge. Who do you work for? The 20th district."
A badge cannot be seen in the video.
The trooper did not issue Maggio a ticket but warned him about exiting his vehicle.
"You should know that when you start getting out of the car, we don’t know what’s going on and, and it's not safe for you to be out of the car," the trooper said.
Maggio told the officer that he got out of the vehicle because he thought he knew the officer.
The trooper then returned to his patrol car, and Maggio left the scene.
Maggio could not be reached for comment to say whether he has an issued badge for identification.
David Stewart, executive director of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, said it is possible for judges to obtain badges for identification purposes, but they must clearly state that person is a judge.
20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden said he is only in control of distributing badges to prosecuting attorneys in his office.
"I’m not aware of any judges that have badges, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have badges," Vaden said.
Circuit judges Charles "Ed" Clawson and David Reynolds said they do not have badges. Instead, Clawson said he was issued a photo ID that identifies him as a judge.
(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)