Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GOVERNOR'S SON GETS OFF THIRD DWI CONVICTION DUE TO STATE POLICE MISTAKE

 
WILLIAM ASA HUTCHINSON III'S MUGSHOT FROM HIS JANUARY 24, 2016 DWI ARREST


Asa Hutchinson III was able to get his third DWI conviction overturned due to a mistake by the arresting Arkansas State Trooper Joshua Arnold. 

We previously reported on this arrest and outcome as well as his arrest and conviction in Alabama for possession of illegal drugs. 

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/01/governors-son-arrested-for-another-dwi.html

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/06/emails-to-blog-and-asa-hutchinson-iii.html

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2017/05/asa-hutchinson-iii-gets-deal-in-alabama.html

Asa III was arrested on January 24, 2016 at around 2:55 a.m. after he passed out and crashed his truck into a guard rail trying to get to his home in Rogers.









Asa III was actually heading the opposite direction from his home towards Fayetteville when the accident occurred.

He hit the guard rail with so much force that several air bags in his truck deployed.

Asa III reeked of booze and wobbled when he walked.  His speech was slurred and his pants were unzipped.

And a loaded handgun was found in his jacket pocket - one that he did not tell Trooper Arnold about nor did he state that he had a concealed  weapon on him and show his permit, if he had one, which the law requires.

Corporal Arnold initially issued  Asa III citation number 2001796935 on which he indicated that the accident had occurred during daylight hours.




Trooper Arnold voided out the original ticket and issued another,  #2001796936, which correctly indicated that the accident had occurred when it was dark.



CLICK TO VIEW THE COMPLETE ARKANSAS STATE POLICE REPORT

Apparently Trooper Arnold did not give the second ticket to Asa III or Asa III was too drunk to recall that he had received it.  Either way, that little thing allowed Asa III to get his third DWI conviction overturned on appeal.


Trooper Arnold attempted to void that ticket and write another one indicating it was "dark" when the accident occurred on the Exit 67 ramp off Interstate 49. Mile marker 67 is just before the Exit 67 ramp.

The second citation was filed with Fayetteville District Court, where Hutchinson was tried and convicted by a judge on Nov. 30 of driving while intoxicated, careless and prohibited driving, and refusal to submit to chemical testing.

Chad Atwell of Fayetteville, Hutchinson's attorney, said his client never received the second citation, and the statute of limitations has expired to charge him under that document.


CHAD ATWELL


The charges should be dismissed because Hutchinson didn't receive "proper notice of the charges against him in violation of his due process rights," wrote Atwell in a motion to dismiss filed Monday.

During his research, Atwell said, he discovered two other tickets pertaining to the incident: the initial ticket with "VOID" stamped across the front, and the second ticket with the words "no signature required" at the bottom. All four tickets listed the same three charges.

"None of the four citations, or two numbered citations, are valid any longer," Atwell wrote. "The lack of a valid charging instrument violates defendant's right to due process and his right to a speedy trial, and places Mr. Hutchinson in double jeopardy."

Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay agreed and dismissed the case on Monday, instead of going through jury selection for Hutchinson's appeal trial, which was to begin that morning in circuit court. Lindsay said the Fayetteville District Court verdict would be vacated.

JUDGE MARK LINDSEY
 
Lindsay said the mistake appeared to be "human error on the part of the state trooper."

Lindsay said the initial charging document can't be voided in an Arkansas DWI case.

Under Arkansas Code Annotated 5-65-107, a charge of driving while intoxicated "shall not be reduced or dismissed," and the citation is to be filed with the court as soon as possible.

Brian Thomas, the Fayetteville city prosecutor, said he learned about the situation late last week when Atwell asked about the tickets with different citation numbers.

Thomas said he talked with Arnold.

"He had a data entry issue with [the first citation] and wanted to correct it so he went in and voided the first ticket and issued a second ticket and took it to court," Thomas said. "Preferably, he would have just left that ticket alone. Usually, I just ask them to contact me when they think a mistake has been make on the ticket or charging instrument."

Thomas said Hutchinson didn't take a blood alcohol test or breath test after the accident, but the trooper said he did smell alcohol coming from Hutchinson.

"I initially observed the operator's eyes were bloodshot and watery and there was a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the cab of the pickup," Arnold wrote in his incident report.

Hutchinson told Arnold he was OK but had dozed off behind the wheel, according to the report. 

Arnold indicated Hutchinson swayed when he walked from the vehicle.

Hutchinson told Arnold he was trying to drive home to Rogers after an event in Fayetteville. 

Arnold informed him he was going the wrong way.

Arnold searched Hutchinson and found a 9mm Glock pistol in his jacket pocket, according to the report.

Arnold observed six clues that indicate intoxication, according to his report.

"I asked the driver to continue field sobriety tests, and he declined," wrote Arnold.



Asa III appears to have a substance abuse problem and he needs to get some serious treatment for it before he kills someone.
Not sure that is something the Good Ole Boy System rules require of him.


************

Observant readers will have noticed that the report filed by Trooper Arnold refers to two 911 calls Asa III made after his accident.

We have sent a FOI request to the Arkansas State Police for copies of the recordings of the calls and will post an update as soon as we receive them.


Friday, July 14, 2017

PETITION FILED TO SUSPEND JUDGE BILLY "THE DODGER" MCCALLISTER FROM BENCH

 
JUDGE BILLY "THE DODGER" McCALLISTER - POOREST JUDGE IN ARKANSAS AT $160K A YEAR


As expected, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission filed a petition today to suspend Saline County Circuit Court Judge Billy, "The Dodger" McCallister from his judicial position.

View the fling by clicking on this link:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

TWO DAYS AFTER WARRANT ISSUED, SALINE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE BOBBY MCCALLISTER TURNS HIMSELF IN AND IS BOOKED AND RELEASED

MUGSHOT OF JUDGE BOBBY MCCALLISTER  - GOT OUT OF JAIL FREE

Judge Bobby "The Dodger" McCallister surrendered to state authorities Thursday afternoon, nearly two days after he was charged with felony tax evasion. 

McCallister was enjoying a trip paid for by the taxpayers to Washington, D.C., to attend a training conference hosted by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, when he learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Don't you know he was the topic of discussion by other attendees at the conference when the news of the charges and warrant hit the news.

According to David Gibbons, the specially appointed prosecutor who filed the charges Tuesday, Bobby McCallister was booked at the Saline County jail about 3:20 p.m. and later released on his own recognizance.

McCallister, a 52-year-old Saline County Circuit Court judge, was charged with failing to file or pay state income tax returns in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Each of the four felony counts carries a possible sentence of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

The IRS has filed liens on everything McCallister owns as he owes them almost $200K in unpaid Federal Income Taxes and penalties.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ARREST WARRANT ISSUED FOR SALINE COUNTY JUDGE BOBBY MCCALLISTER

ARREST WARRANT FOR JUDGE BOBBY MCCALLISTER  ON FOUR FELONY CHARGES

It only took David Gibbons, Special Prosecutor appointed to handle the case against Saline County Circuit Court Judge Bobby McCallister about a month to get criminal charges filed after an investigation was opened by the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission ("JDDC") back in March of this year.


 
DAVID GIBBONS

It's a wonder that Gibbons filed anything as he is not known for going after public officials back in Russellville for his jurisdiction in the 5th Judicial District. -See previous posts:

http://badgovernmentinarkansas.blogspot.com/2017/06/johnson-county-gone-wild.html

http://badgovernmentinarkansas.blogspot.com/2017/04/drunk-beligerant-intimidating-judge.html

http://badgovernmentinarkansas.blogspot.com/2017/04/judge-fails-to-stop-at-checkpoint-is.html

According to documents released this morning by the JDDC, Judge McCallister did not file State and Federal Tax returns for over 20 years and a formal charges from the Commission were filed. First step in his removal from office.




CLICK TO VIEW THE JDDC COMPLAINT AND EXHIBITS


Then this afternoon four felony charges were filed against Judge McCallister in Saline County and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

In the file release by the JDDC, there was an exhibit that revealed testimony by McCallister in a deposition in which he stated he had only filed tax returns four times in the last 22 years.

In the deposition he claimed the first time he failed to file a return was because he didn't have funds to pay the taxes due. 

All of this came to light when McCallister's estranged wife found a suitcase full of demand letters and notices about unpaid taxes and folders of information she had given him to use to file taxes on her income.  She later found out the IRS has placed liens on their home and other property and she started filing separately and had to repay some past due taxes to square herself with the taxman.



As previous reported, Judge McCallister refused to answer questions in a hearing concerning his divorce and invoked his right against self-incrimination to keep from answering questions posed to him. 





JUDICIAL DISCIPLINE & DISABILITY COMMISSION COMPLAINT FILE EXHIBIT HAS SALINE COUNTY JUDGE BOBBY MCCALLISTER STATING UNDER OATH THAT HE DID NOT FILE STATE OR FEDERAL  INCOME TAXES BECAUSE HE DID NOT HAVE MONEY TO PAY TAXES OWED.



The state could only go back so far due to the statute of limitations but the IRS has him on the hook for almost $200K.

Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, July 7, 2017



Due to the Siege of Little Rock by feuding gangs, our Bad City of Little Rock blog has been taking up the majority of our time this week.  We have multiple posts processing for that blog so we are pushing back this weeks installment of our series, Johnny Sowell Exposed.

This will also give us time to check out some information we were sent this week about Sowell and see if there is anything to what was passed on to us.

We received information from a reader about a current lawsuit that is questioning some activity of Sowell and the lawsuit involves some footage from an HBO show.  We are trying to track down the footage to include it in our series.

We also received another email about Sowell when he was a Van Buren County Deputy Sheriff that we are researching.


This email was sent from a sketchy source so we are attempting to ascertain the validity of this allegation.

So stay tuned for Part 4.



Friday, June 30, 2017

JOHNNY SOWELL EXPOSED - PART 3 - FINANCIAL MALFEASANCE, BLACKMAIL AND MORE AS FRAUDLENT MAYOR OF SHIRLEY

 JOHNNY SOWELL  AND THE DILAPIDATED BUILDING HE BROKE THE CITY BUDGET PURCHASING

In previous installments we exposed Sowell as a failed wannabe Arkansas State Trooper, one of the sorriest trooper recruits in the entire history of the ASP and as fraudulent mayor of Shirley.

In this installment we will expose some of Sowell's shenanigans and potential illegal acts as a fraudulent mayor.

Sowell verbally resigned as mayor at a December 20, 2016 after a heated discussion over his secretive purchase of run down, collapsing building across the street from Shirley City Hall.


THE ROOF HAS COLLAPSED ON ONE PART OF THE BUILDING
THE OTHER PORTION IS NOT ADA COMPLIANT AND HAS NO RESTROOMS

Sowell was pissed off that an email had been sent to Darla McJunkins with First Service Bank from the city clerk and several city council member requesting information about a loan that Sowell was obtaining for the city to purchase an old run down building near city hall. 

The email called into question the terms of a loan the mayor, allegedly for the city, was securing to buy some downtown buildings. In the Email, dated Nov. 16 from city clerk/recorder Melissa Worthing, Councilwoman Margaret Earnhart, Councilwoman Lisa Hackett and Councilwoman-elect Ginny Kimmons-Stone, the assertion is made that “transparency is sorely lacking, all negotiations with First Service have been kept in the dark from the council,” and that the clerk had not received any appropriate paperwork for the loan, concluding, “Prior to approving or disapproving this loan, we, the undersigned, ask that the [SIC] all information is conveyed to the council and that there is a review of the citys’ [SIC] finances, so we can better judge our situation.”



The minutes from the meeting provide interesting details.





Sowell also had his panties in a wad over the city clerk, Melissa Worthing, providing information to Legislative Audit.

Sowell was found in a previous audit to have used city funds in an illegal manner.





Sowell had violated Arkansas Code Annotated § 14-58-203 by using funds allocated for one purpose for something not allowed (he and his boss Cody Hiland did similar things with Federal funds in his position as the 20th Judicial Drug Task Force head - to be exposed in Part 4 of this series).


Minutes from city council meeting reveal that Sowell wanted the city to buy the rickety old buildings to house the Water and Street department, in spite of the fact that the city was operating with severely limited funds and the building had no restrooms and the cost to make them structural sound, usable and ADA compliant would bankrupt the city.

If that was not enough reasons to keep from buying the shithole, the appraisal of the property determined that it was not worth the asking price and there was an existing note on the property on excess of $50,0000.

A recipe for disaster.








So Sowell and one of his cronies resigned at the December meeting. Word was spreading through the town about Sowell not actually residing in the city limits and that he was a fraudulent mayor. There were also allegations of  multiple wrongdoings. Perhaps Sowell saw the writing on the wall. Perhaps he had done what he intended to do all along and find a buyer for the crumbling buildings for some hidden agenda for his personal benefit.

PART OF A PACKET OF INFORMATION THAT WAS CIRCULATED ABOUT SOWELL




Also at play and unknown by the general public was underhanded ploy by Sowell to try and get rid of one of his biggest roadblocks to having complete control, City Clerk and Recorder Melissa Worthing.


Sowell found out that Worthing was not being billed for not paying for city water service to her home. This had been going on for quite some time.  This was a serious thing and could result in her being removed from office and never being able to hold a public office again.

Sowell tried to use this fact and blackmail Worthing into resigning. Sowell told her that if she resigned, he would make the problem of her not paying for water go away.

Do the terms collusion and obstruction of justice pop into your mind?

A newspaper article at the time quotes Sowell as saying he had filed a report with the Van Buren Coutny Sheriff's Department


Why would an employee of the 20th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney's Office and head of the Drug Task Force think that he could ignore an illegal act and use it for his personal benefit?  Because he is corrupt.

Worthing, having personal knowledge of Sowell's corruption and reputation for making things happened to people took the extraordinary measure to make a notarized statement to be used in the event something happened to her.


The morning after the city council meeting where Sowell resigned, Worthing went to her office and found that the tape recording of the meeting had been taken by someone.

Worthing received a text message from Sowell that he had taken the tape (without her permission) and would give it back later that day.

She called the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department to report the theft of the tape.

Later a report was made.





Sowell took the tape and went to a local newspaper and played the tape for a reporter with the Fairfield Bay News.


We sent a Freedom of Information to the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office for a copy of the report mentioned in the article and the reponse that we received from them was there were no documents or records.


Was the report pulled at the request of Sowell to remove any evidence that he had knowledge of illegal activities at city hall and which he interned to use in a failed blackmail attempt to force Worthing to resign?  Probably so.


In the January 2017 meeting of the Shirley city council, an article in the Van Buren County Democrat reported that city finances were strained due to the recent purchase forced by former fraudulent mayor Sowell  of two decrepit buildings.



The article also described the receipt by the city of an anonymous letter that listed several allegations of wrongdoing by former fraudulent mayor Sowell.



That letter detailed allegations about Sowell using a grant from the US Department of Agriculture to make improvement on the road leading to his home which was outside the city limits and not a permissible use of the funds (something that Sowell seems to do a lot with public funds). 

Perhaps the city, now realizing that Sowell was not eligible to run for, much less hold, the office of mayor was setting in.

We know that part of the roadwork paid for by the grant was for John Henry Road, which was partly in the city, but not Guffey Lane. CLearly Sowell using his ill-gotten position to receive personal benefit.


Other allegations included Sowell using a contractor to do work who leased trucks from Sowell.  A clear conflict and violation of the law.

The documents that have been sent to us and the material we have obtained on our own are quite considerable and indicate serious issues that point to wrongdoing by Sowell.

Not only were they interesting to us.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation thought they were too and initiated and investigation after requesting we provide them with information we have gathered.

To be continued in Part 4.