US

Arkansas justice transferring cases of judge accused of sexual relationships with defendants

A special judge or judges will be appointed to hear the cases of an Arkansas judge facing allegations of administrative misconduct including having sexual relationships with defendants.

Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Howard Brill signed an order Thursday saying a special judge or judges will oversee the docket in Cross County District Court in Wynne while the allegations against Judge Joe Boeckmann are pending.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced the administrative charges for allegedly violating judicial rules of conduct Tuesday. Boeckmann's attorney said he plans to fight the charges and that the judge had already agreed not to preside over cases during the investigation.

The complaint includes allegations that Boeckmann reduced bond or fines for white male defendants and engaged in sexual conduct with some of them.