The Arkansas Supreme Court today reinstated Circuit Judge William Pearson of Clarksville to the bench on a petition from the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

Pearson pleaded guilty and received a six-month suspended sentence for misdemeanor drunk driving and reckless driving  Jan. 20 near Clarksville. He drove through a police sobriety checkpoint and tried to avoid arrest.

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He was temporarily suspended while the case was pending. After his plea bargain, the disciplinary commission admonished Pearson but recommended his return to service and included a statement in which he acknowledged his guilt and apologized.

In the decision today, Justice Rhonda Wood said she would have reinstated Pearson but would have prohibited him from hearing criminal cases while on the six-month suspended sentence. Justice Shawn Womack would have denied reinstatement.

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