Former Rogers City Attorney Fined For ‘Dishonest’ Actions
ROGERS (KFSM) — A former Rogers city attorney was fined and reprimanded by the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct for what the committee described as dishonest and deceitful actions.
Benjamin Lipscomb was fined $4,000 plus $100 in case costs.
The committee found Lipscomb held the elected office of city attorney even after moving out of city limits in May 2011, which made him ineligible for the position. Lipscomb resigned in Jan. 2015 following litigation with the City of Rogers.
During those four years, Lipscomb drew his full salary and benefits, which added up to $500,000 in city funds that he was not entitled to, according to the committee.
Lipscomb resigned in 2015 after reaching a settlement with City of Rogers in the amount of $253,222.49.
The settlement stemmed from a federal lawsuit Lipscomb filed against the city after the Rogers City Council passed ordinances limiting the powers of the city attorney because of issues between Lipscomb and other city officials. The committee notes Lipscomb was in support of the ordinance changes.
The committee also found Lipscomb violated other rules during his litigation with the city:
- He sued his sole client, the City of Rogers, in federal court, which created a conflict of interest.
- He used information obtained as city attorney against the city, which was detrimental to the city.
- He used a city employee under his supervision to prepare court documents in his case against the city, as well as other documents for his personal business.
- He voted in a precinct in which he did not reside in during a Sept. 13, 2011 bond election and again in a preferential primary election on May 22, 2012.
The committee states Lipscomb’s behavior “violated the rules of professional conduct” and involved “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.”
The City of Rogers released the following statement regarding the committee’s findings:
“Over a year a go, the City of Rogers resolved litigation filed in federal court with Mr. Lipscomb, its former City Attorney. That resolution settled all issues with Mr. Lipscomb and the City of Rogers considers the matter as concluded.
“It has come to our attention that the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct recently issued a Consent Findings & Order involving Mr. Lipscomb. The City of Rogers was not a party to the proceeding before the Committee of Professional Conduct and therefore does not have any comment or reaction.”