Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The City Attorney and city criminal prosecutor for Walnut Ridge, Arkansas has been reprimanded and fined $2,500 by Panel B of the state's Committee on Professional Conduct.
A pilot by the name of Heath Gephart landed a small plane at the Walnut Ridge airport. Federal officials had requested that local police arrest Gephart and a passenger and a "large quantity of marijuana" was discovered. Gephart faced state and federal charges as a result.
The city prosecutor visited Gephart in the jail and solicited him as client. He received a $15,000 fee.
Gephart had trouble contacting the attorney and learned of his law enforcement position through an internet search. He told the judge, who ordered the attorney to refund $12,500 of the fee.
The reprimand was for the conflict of interest and improper solicitation. (Mike Frisch)