The Arkansas Supreme Court yesterday affirmed a lower court ruling that disqualified Jim Wyatt from seeking a circuit judgeship because of records of hot check violations ranging from 25 to 27 years ago. Wyatt disputes that the violations ever occurred and says he has never been charged with or convicted of any crime.
Circuit Judge Wendel Griffen ruled ruled in October that Wyatt’s name should be removed from the ballot in the race for circuit judge in the Six Judicial Circuit of Perry and Pulaski counties. Attorney Chris Burks filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Pulaski County resident, Tyray Carr. Burks presented court records that showed Wyatt pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts for writing hot checks, more than 25 years ago (before Wyatt passed the bar).
Wyatt, now president of the Pulaski County Bar Association, said that the records were inaccurate and he has never been charged with writing hot checks.
The Supreme Court found that Griffen had correctly applied a “preponderance of evidence” standard to find that Wyatt was guilty of an “infamous crime” that bars him from seeking office under the state constitution.