The Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, which oversees lawyer discipline, entered a consent order last week in the case of Asa Hutchinson III, the governor’s son, in a case arising from his 2016 arrest on a drug charge in Alabama.
He was charged with possession of drugs found when he attended a music festival. He pleaded guilty, received pre-trial diversion and the charge was ultimately dismissed after successful completion of the probationary period.
The guilty plea on the drug charge led to bar complaints in the states where Hutchinson is licensed to practice, first in Missouri. In Sept. 2018, Missouri settled its bar complaint with a suspension of his license, but the suspension was stayed for two years of probation, effective Dec. 18, 2018.
Hutchinson asked Arkansas to use a reciprocity rule on lawyer discipline and adopt the finding in Missouri. The Arkansas Committee agreed to that. This means that he remains licensed to practice law, but is under a probationary period that runs through Dec. 18.
Hutchinson has had several arrests for DWI, most recently in May 2019, with a variety of outcomes. According to Stark Ligon, executive director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct, it has been long-standing committee policy not to initiate bar discipline on DWIs unless they have reached a felony-level on a fourth conviction.