- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas judicial commission recommended Wednesday that a circuit judge arrested in January on drunken driving charges be reinstated.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission said Circuit Judge William Pearson, 57, is taking action to avoid such behavior again.

The commission filed a motion with the Arkansas Supreme Court to reinstate the 5th Judicial Circuit’s Division 1 judge to the bench.

“Pearson has been open and candid in all communications with the commission,” Executive Director David Sachar wrote in a letter of admonishment, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2pznvW3 ).

This comes after Pearson pleaded guilty last week to charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. Pearson was fined $1,020 and ordered to pay nearly $2,000 in restitution to the Arkansas State Police for damage caused to a police vehicle. He is to also serve five days in jail.

“An admonishment is a more corrective sanction than an informal adjustment but falls short of conduct requiring formal discipline,” Sachar wrote. “It is an expression of disapproval of a judge’s conduct, and may contain a proscription to follow a corrective course of conduct, and may direct professional treatment, counseling or assistance.”

Under the plea agreement, Pearson is to refrain from hearing driving-while-intoxicated cases for the rest of the year.

In a statement last week, Pearson said such conduct “will never ever happen again.”

Pearson has been suspended with pay since his arrest.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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