Parker tapped to replace McBeth as Western District judge
EUREKA SPRINGS -- Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed Tim Parker of Eureka Springs as the new District Judge for the Western District of Carroll County.
He replaces Judge Marianne McBeth, whose elected term ended on Dec. 31. She was re-elected in May 2012 for a new two-year term to begin on Jan. 1, but announced in October she would be leaving the bench on Dec. 31 for personal reasons. Parker agreed to serve out her term, so his appointment will expire on Dec. 31, 2014, he said.
Parker, 51, has been a lawyer since 1991. Originally from Warren, he has lived in Eureka Springs for 18 years.
After graduating high school in Warren, Parker earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hendrix College in Conway, followed by a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
He is the proprietor of Parker Law Firm and previously served as an elected municipal judge from 1999-2004, after which he did not run for re-election.
Parker and his wife, Amy, have three children; Brian, 13; Holly, 8; and Alex, 7. His oldest daughter, Elizabeth, 15, died in 2011.
Parker's judgeship will be part-time, allowing him the opportunity to continue to practice law. He does not plan to run for re-election in two years, he said.
"In two years, they will do away with part-time judgeships," Parker said. "There will be a full-time judgeship over Carroll and Madison County. It is something that is relatively new -- a lot of larger towns already have full-time district judges."
As Western District judge, Parker will hear misdemeanor criminal cases, small claims cases and traffic violations. He plans to look into offering community service as an alternative punishment for misdemeanor offenders.
"We are in hard economic time -- it is hard for people to pay on fines and costs," he said. "I want to use community service as a way for them to pay. First, I have got to have someone to supervise the community service, and I will have to check the budget for it."
Judge Parker also plans to judge fairly, he said.
"I am a small man with a small ego," he said. "There is no room for ego on the bench. I plan to be a humble judge that follows the law. It's justice with compassion."