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Contact(s):Scott Carter
501-371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, January 1, 2009

LITTLE ROCK CITY DIRECTORS, JUDGES TAKE OATHS OF OFFICE

Little Rock, AR (1 January 2009). January 1st not only marks the start of a new year, it marks the beginning of terms for several City of Little Rock officials. City Directors Joan Adcock, Brad Cazort, and Gene Fortson, and Little Rock District Court Judges Vic Fleming, Mark Leverett, and Alice Lightle took their oaths of office in a ceremony today at Little Rock City Hall.

Those who could not attend the ceremony were able to watch the live broadcast on LRTV, the City’s government access channel located on Comcast 11, south of the Arkansas River.

Director Cazort serves as the Ward 4 City Director. He first took office in January 1997. Directors Adcock and Fortson serve as At-Large City Directors. Director Fortson was appointed to Position 9 in 2006; this will be his first four year term. Director Adcock was first sworn-in on January 1, 1993. She serves in Position 10 on the City Board.

Judge Lightle was sworn in as District Judge, First Division, which is the Criminal Court. She succeeds Judge Lee Munson, who chose not to seek re-election. Judge Lightle was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe in 2007 to fill a vacancy in the District Judge, Third Division, which is the Environmental Court. The Criminal Court is responsible for the adjudication of criminal offenses; seeks to divert offenders from criminal activity, and increases public accountability through probation, drug testing, victim restitution, and community service programs. The Criminal Court is the oldest Little Rock court; it dates back to the 1800s.

Judge Fleming was sworn in to his fourth term as Little Rock District Judge, Second Division. He has overseen the Traffic Court since 1997. The Traffic Court has original jurisdiction over all traffic offenses committed in the city limits—including DWI and vehicular homicide, as well as speeding, failing to yield, and fire lane parking tickets. The Traffic Court was established in the early 1950s. Judge Fleming is only the second Traffic Court Judge to have been elected to four terms.

Little Rock’s new District Judge, Third Division is Mark Leverett. He succeeds Judge Lightle in that position overseeing the Environmental Court. This Court is responsible for the adjudication and imposing sanctions for code violations to ensure that neighborhood conditions are improved to comply with accepted health and safety standards. The Environmental Court was established in 1994.

Also at the ceremony Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola highlighted some of the City Board’s accomplishments in 2008 including the establishment of the Landbank Commission, the purchase of property for a Midtown Police substation, and the passage of ordinances involving vicious dog breeds, extended stay motels, and scrap metal.
Vice Mayor Stacy Hurst also participated in the ceremony. The Vice Mayor paid tribute to each of her colleagues and thanked them for allowing her to serve as Vice Mayor in 2007 and 2008. A new Vice Mayor will be selected at the January 6, 2009, City Board meeting.

Though City Hall was open on the morning of January 1, 2009, for the Swearing-In Ceremony, Little Rock City government offices will be closed on January 1 and January 2.

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