Judicial Discipline Panel to Get New Leader

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The only director the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has ever known will be replaced by a district court judge.  District Judge David Stewart was chosen Friday by the commission to take over on July 1 in place of the retiring James Badami.

The 67-year-old Badami was hired in 1989 after voters approved a constitutional amendment to create a panel a year earlier.

The 65-year-old Stewart has been on the bench for 13 years and was picked from among 48 who applied.  His salary at the commission will be $91,243 per year.

Besides handling judicial misconduct, the commission investigates physical or mental disabilities that may prevent a judge from serving.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)