Rogers City Attorney Eliminates Plea Bargaining

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ROGERS (KFSM) – Rogers City Attorney Ben Lipscomb is eliminating negotiated plea bargaining in city District Court cases, he said in a letter to local lawyers this week.

As a result, the only options are a guilty plea or a trial, the letter states.

The Dec. 8 letter is addressed to “all attorneys practicing criminal law in Rogers District Court.”

Lipscomb said the plea deals that have already been offered on pending cases will be honored.

He said the decision to end plea bargaining was due to “politically motivated budget cuts and staff reductions.”

In September, the Rogers City Council approved an ordinance isolating the city attorney’s duties to prosecutorial matters. A new staff attorney position, filled by Chris Griffin, takes over civil matters and acts as the city’s legal advisor, jobs that Lipscomb said should fall under his own duties.

In early November, Lipscomb filed a lawsuit, alleging the ordinance was unconstitutional because it singled him out and curtailed his job duties to prosecutorial matters only. The ordinance kept Lipscomb from representing Rogers in any other legal matters as the city attorney.

In a response filed Nov. 26, Mayor Greg Hines and the City Council state the city is immune from the punitive damages Lipscomb is seeking because it has legal protection as a municipality against such action. The response goes on to state Lipscomb “is not a resident of the city of Rogers and thus has no standing to bring this suit because he does not legally qualify to serve as the city attorney of Rogers.”

The response does not state where city officials believe Lipscomb lives, but the city attorney is listed by emergency crews and in directories as living at a home on Dearhurst Road in Rogers near Beaver Lake

Lipscomb was involved in a criminal investigation by a special prosecutor in August and September. Crawford County prosecutor Marc McCune investigated whether Lipscomb broke any laws by using a city badge to gain entry into a VIP tent at a Miranda Lambert concert over the summer at the Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers, according to investigation documents released by McCune’s office.

McCune announced Sept. 5 that Lipscomb would face no criminal charges in the matter. McCune was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case to avoid any conflicts of interest by local prosecutors.

 

10 comments

    • Sean

      Because he’s the guy who’s been covering his employers’ dirty deeds the last few years.

      This is all child’s play compared to what’s going on with Greenwood City Attorney Michael Hamby and his Freedom of Information violation (an actual prosecutable crime, misdemeanor) intended to steal hundreds of thousands o dollars from the State of Arkansas.

  • Jcar

    Fire this Turd Muncher! If they can’t because of the elected office… then make him clean City Toilets all day long until the end. Sick of hearing about this sorry attorney! They need someone that will do the job right and represent well. Taxpayers should not have to pay for this A$$ Clown!!

  • Joe Delaney

    He cannot be fired. He’s an elected official. This will virtually stop court in Rogers and shut off fine revenues. Feel free to speed in Rogers now. Even if you get caught your case won’t make it to court this decade.

  • Litigator

    Let’s see, resources are scarce so the response is to increase the workload by eliminating plea bargains. Ever hear of cutting off your nose to spite your face?

  • jayson lawson deaf guy hero

    don’t worry he is all screwed i did all most work with federal angecy and disability right canter in little rock already against him i have to do that for disunity children sake i am deaf hero

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