No Automatic Action Against Judge Charged with DUI

A drunk driving charge filed Tuesday against Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Jerry Lynn Smith won't impact his ability to hear cases for now according to two state agencies. A spokeswoman with the state Administrative Office of the Courts said Tuesday "it's just too soon for us to comment" on Smith's arrest but "an arrest for a misdemeanor does not preclude a judge from hearing cases." Timothy Discenza, disciplinary counsel for the Court of the Judiciary, said no automatic sanctions are activated against Smith with his arrest and it is too early to speculate on what action the court might take. The News Sentinel has more