The U.S. attorney’s office in Little Rock announced today the arrest of David Carruth, 63, of Clarendon, a former Monroe County district court judge, for allegedly attempting to trade sex for favorable action in his court.
From the release:
According to court documents, Thomas David Carruth, 63, of Clarendon, was an elected judge of the Monroe County district court. In April 2022, Carruth allegedly solicited sex from the girlfriend of a defendant in exchange for expediting that defendant’s trial date. Carruth allegedly lied to FBI agents when questioned about the incident.
Carruth is charged by indictment with three counts of honest services wire fraud, three counts of using a facility in interstate commerce in furtherance of unlawful activity, one count of bribery, one count of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice. If convicted, Carruth faces up to 20 years in prison on the top counts.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Ross for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson of the FBI Little Rock Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI Little Rock Field Office is investigating the case with the assistance of the Arkansas State Police.
Carruth was disciplined by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission in 2018 for improper contact about cases outside of court.
It was reported in June that Carruth’s home was raided by the FBI. KARK/Fox 16 reported then:
Monroe County District Court Judge David Carruth told KARK 4 News on Thursday that a woman in Clarendon has been trying to blackmail him in a case involving her boyfriend.
“A female has made a false accusation against me,” Carruth said when reached by phone.
Carruth said the woman offered to “do anything” to get her boyfriend out of jail and claims the attempted bribery happened when the two ran into each other outside of court.
The judge said he rejected the offer and immediately notified State Police and the FBI.
“I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do,” Carruth said. “When someone tried getting me to do something, I contacted authorities.”
Carruth’s judgeship was a part-time elected position. He resigned the position to run for city attorney of Clarendon, a position to which he reportedly was elected unopposed.
The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission confirmed it was investigating the same allegation and the agency had reported it to federal authorities. Carruth remains under investigation by the judicial body.
Multiple sources say the person who accused Carruth has provided tapes of her conversations with the judge. He reported conversations with her after investigations had begun. The full explanation of charges isn’t available, but this could explain the false statement charge.