Little Rock District Judge Alice Lightle, who oversees the criminal division of district court, has notified Gov. Asa Hutchinson of her intention to resign the post effective April 30.
Lightle tell me that she and her spouse, Debbie Wilhite, are moving to Evergreen, Colo. They’d been talking about a move for sometime and hadn’t expected it to come so soon, but found a “perfect house” and decided the time had come. “It’s time to start a new chapter,” she said.
Lightle, who turns 63 next month, was re-elected to what would have been a third four-year term in 2016. The governor will fill the vacancy until an election to fill the remainder of the term can be held in 2018. Lightle was first appointed to the bench, an environmental court seat, by Gov. Mike Beebe in 2007. She was elected to the criminal court slot in 2008. Her letter, also sent to City Manager Bruce Moore and Chief Justice Dan Kemp:
The district judges this year became fully part of the state judicial system, where they operated before mostly under the control of the city. State law sets their pay in range up to about $146,000.