In a three page filing, Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister has responded to a raft of allegations investigators with the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission lodged against him in July regarding his alleged failure to file state and federal income taxes. In the response, McCallister denies the JDDC’s allegation that he failed to file or pay state and federal taxes for over 20 years, and requests a hearing.
As we’ve previously reported, on July 11, a bench warrant for McCallister’s arrest was issued based on Special Prosecutor David Gibbons’ charges that he’d failed to file or pay state income taxes in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Special Judge David Laser signed the warrant. McCallister, 52, has been a Judge since Jan. 1, 2009.
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Separate from the criminal proceedings against McCallister, the JDDC investigation seeks to determine whether McCallister violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct and deserves disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the bench.
In the response to the JDDC allegations, filed by McCallister’s attorney Patrick Benca, McCallister denies all the most serious allegations in the JDDC filing, including the allegation that he’d “filed no more than four (4) tax returns in the last twenty-two (22) tax years,” and that McCallister owes more than $104,000 in tax liens, as reported by Arkansas Business. McCallister also denied the allegation that “he stated that he did not file his first year because he knew he did not have sufficient savings to pay taxes. He chose not to pay because he basically panicked,” but the response stipulates “he admits to the statements… but denies they constitute an admission to tax evasion or other felony violations.”
The JDDC allegations said McCallister’s wife was found to be an “innocent spouse” for all but one tax year and owed no taxes as of early July. McCallister had allegedly kept her in the dark about tax filings during their marriage, and the issue was only discovered during their divorce proceedings. During depositions for those divorce proceedings, McCallister repeatedly invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to questions about payment and filing of taxes.
At the end of his response to the JDDC allegations, McCallister requests a hearing from the full Judicial Discipline and Discipline and Disability Commission to determine whether the alleged violations actually occurred. “If violations are found to have occurred,” the statement reads, “McCallister prays that the JDDC consider all facts and mitigating circumstances in deciding the appropriate disciplinary options.”
Read the original allegations against McCallister here:
Read McCallister’s response to the allegations here: