Arkansas judge angered over an occupied parking space; investigation underway

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"My son and wife repeatedly apologized to him [Judge Karren]"

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Parking matters in Bentonville.

There is a sign for reserved parking at a Bentonville parking lot on the side of Division II courthouse for county officials — Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. These spaces are open to the public after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and weekends.

Downtown Bentonville. Google maps.

There are four reserved spots against the wall for the Benton County Division II courthouse, where Judge Brad Karren works. “The reserved [signs] went up last fall after parts of the building were renovated,” said Benton County Communications Director Channing Barker. “The signs state, ‘Reserved parking 24/7 violators towed.’ Karren asked for the signage because he works late at night and on weekends.”

On Saturday, May 1, shortly after 7 p.m., apparently a person parked where they were not supposed to, so he could join his family at a nearby eatery and take a walk around Bentonville Square, according to Twitter posts.

Davy Carter, whose son occupied the parking space, dealt with Judge Karren’s unhappiness, who happened to be in the area at the same time.

An apology, of sorts, could be heard on the video between Carter, on behalf of his son, to Judge Karren. The video below was provided to KNWA/FOX24 by Davy Carter; John Whiteside shot the video and gave permission to use it.

Carter said his son parked in a lot next to the 21c [Museum Hotel Bentonville] around 7 p.m. Saturday. He said in a Twitter post, “there are two (2) signs in the ingress that basically says it’s government parking from 7 or 8 am to 5:00 p.m.”

Carter, a former Arkansas House Speaker, told KNWA/FOX24 that he is not giving out interviews, “because of the judicial committee investigation.” Carter also said there has not been anything new involving the situation.

Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission Director David Sachar acknowledged the incident: “I am aware of the incident involving Circuit Judge Brad Karren. I follow former Speaker of the House Davy Carter on my personal Twitter account. I read the description of events and viewed the posted video,” wrote Sachar in an email to KNWA/FOX24. “On Monday, the complaint process will begin and a JDDC Investigation Panel will conduct a thorough and confidential investigation. The judge has due process rights as provided through the Rules of Procedure of the JDDC. I have no further comment at this time.”

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