Jonesboro Judicial Candidate Can't Use Reference to "Judge" Term

JANUARY 31, 2006 - Posted at 8:03 a.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - An ethics panel says a judicial candidate in Jonesboro who previously served two years as a district judge would be violating state code by using the term "judge" in campaign materials because he does not currently sit on the bench.

Ray Spruell, a lawyer who is seeking a circuit judgeship, asked for an advisory opinion, and the Arkansas Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee issued the opinion yesterday.

The committee says the Code of Judicial Conduct says a candidate for judicial office shall not "knowingly mispresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact" concerning himself or an opponent.

Spruell was appointed a district judge in 2002 by Governor Huckabee.  He served in that position for two years, and was a part-time district judge for several months in Lepanto, Marked Tree and Tyronza.  He has not been a judge since December 31, 2004, except for sitting as a special judge on two occasions.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)