Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has granted Little Rock Police Capt. Marcus Paxton’s motion to voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit against Chief Keith Humphrey for retaliating him over perceived criticism of the chief.
The motion for dismissal didn’t state a reason. The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled.
Paxton was represented by Chris Burks, who this week stepped off a similar case against Humphrey by three other officers, including assistant chief Hayward Finks, over Humphrey’s actions against them. Burks resigned the case rather than be held in contempt for releasing information in the case that was under a protective order. He disputed that he’d done that.
Other lawsuits are pending, as is Humphrey’s federal case alleging a conspiracy among police employees to get him fired.
But more developments this week in the police controversy related to Burks, who’s driven much of the events:
Thursday, Burks filed a motion to dismiss his lawsuit against Humphrey and the city of Little Rock over the alleged failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act on requests for information. That motion is pending in Judge Mary McGowan’s court.
Burks and his firm also filed Thursday a motion to withdraw as counsel for former assistant chief Alice Fulk and Cristina Plummer in a suit against Humphrey because of an unspecified conflict. This case is in Judge Alice Gray’s court.
In the contempt proceeding before Piazza, Burks said officers in that case would be obtaining new counsel. No word yet if the same is planned on the Alice Fulk suit.
Finally, Burks and his firm have asked to withdraw as counsel for several defendants in Humphrey’s federal lawsuit — Hayward Finks, Alice Fulk, Cristina Plummer, Duane Finks, Reginald Parks, and Kevin Sexson. The motion said Burks and his firm “cannot
reasonably be required to provide continued representation to these Separate Defendants because of an apparent and/or actual conflict that has arisen.”