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Jail former lawmaker, judge asks U.S. court

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2007/12/17 13:19

Former U. S. Rep. Tommy Robinson would spend six months in jail if a federal district judge agrees with a recommendation outlined Friday in U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

In overruling Robinson’s request to sue two of his creditors, their attorney and the Chapter 7 trustee in his personal bankruptcy case, U. S. Bankruptcy Judge James Mixon said the threatened lawsuits represented frivolous interference with bankruptcy court proceedings and an attempt to bully those involved in Robinson’s case.

“I think you are in criminal contempt,” Mixon told Robinson, who represented himself after his attorney’s withdrawal from the case earlier this week.

Mixon said he would recommend to U. S. District Court that Robinson serve six months in jail, a sentence that he suspended in April when Mixon found Robinson to be in both civil and criminal contempt of court orders.

Robinson, who served one night in jail as a result of the civil contempt finding, has appealed the April ruling by Mixon to U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, where the matter has been assigned to Judge James Moody.

“You’ve just got to stop filing the same complaint with this court,” Mixon told Robinson.

“You lost,” the judge said, referring to Robinson’s allegations that his two former partners in a Monroe County hunting lodge, Bill Thompson and Boyd Rothwell, had committed fraud.

Robinson said his estranged business partners have “stolen more with a pen than Jesse James stole with a pistol.” In July 2006, Robinson served five days in jail after pleading no contest to charges of second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, misdemeanors that arose from a scuffle Robinson had in a Brinkley barbecue restaurant with Thompson.

Mixon said he had heard “maybe three times” the argument that Robinson’s partners secretly signed an August 2004 agreement with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and personally benefited from the sale of a roughly 2, 500-acre conservation easement for $ 1. 7 million.

“I’ve already ruled against you,” Mixon said. “You’re an intelligent person. Why do you keep raising the same issue over and over ?” Mixon promised to schedule a hearing within 30 days on his latest recommendation that Robinson be found in criminal contempt, “so you will have time to get counsel and present evidence,” he told Robinson.

Mixon denied Robinson’s request Friday that the judge recuse himself from the case, but he said Robinson was free to file a complaint about Mixon with the Judicial Council of the U. S. 8 th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Robinson said last week that he is seeking to remove Mixon from office by filing such a complaint.

Robinson also is free to file a criminal complaint about Thompson, Rothwell and their attorney, Stuart Hankins, with the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Mixon said.

“I have no jurisdiction over such matters,” the judge said.

Mixon also overruled Robinson’s objection to Trustee Frederick Wetzel’s proposed sale of a city lot in Brinkley that belongs to Tommy Robinson and his wife, Carolyn.

Robinson and his wife were forced into personal bankruptcy in March 2005 by Thompson and Rothwell, and Mixon confirmed the case in September 2005. The following month, in schedules filed with bankruptcy court, Tommy Robinson listed $ 3. 6 million in liabilities and Carolyn Robinson listed $ 3. 4 million. They share many of the same debts, including more than $ 1. 5 million owed to the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Four companies owned by the Robinsons also have been involved in bankruptcy court. Two were liquidated in 2005 and two others are in the process of being liquidated.

Robinson, 65, was Pulaski County sheriff from 1981 to 1984 and represented central Arkansas’ 2 nd Congressional District from 1985 to 1991. Originally elected as a Democrat, he switched to the Republican Party in 1989 and ran unsuccessfully in the 1990 Republican gubernatorial primary and in the 2002 1 st Congressional District race.

Carolyn Robinson has served on the Arkansas Parole Board since June 2002. Her current term expires in 2013.


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