WYNNE, Ark. — A Cross County Arkansas District Judge, facing dual state investigations, did not return to the bench Thursday.
Judge Joseph Boeckmann could face criminal charges after witnesses said they saw child porn on his computer.
He currently faces a formal complaint for allegedly trading sexual favors for court favors, being tougher on women than men, and verbally abusing court staff.
When Boeckmann didn’t show up to hear cases, rumors immediately started to fly.
“I don’t know. Where is Joe, by the way? Is he here?”
That was the big question Thursday morning at Cross County District Court in Wynne.
A steady stream of folks filed into court, expecting to appear before Judge Boeckmann.
Instead Special Judge J. Harmon Smith took over the Judge’s docket.
“If you’re requesting an extension on a fine payment, we’re not going to be hearing any of those today,” he said.
Judge Boeckmann, who is facing judicial and criminal investigations, was a “no-show.”
That didn’t sit well with Calum Eubanks who had just completed community service for drug charges.
“I think he “chickened” out cause he never came. If he had a reason, I don’t know. He might have been sick or something,” said Eubanks.
WREG asked where the Judge was and one Cross County Jail Administrator Mike Bachand told us he didn’t know and was tired of answering questions from the media.
“Well, I’m getting inundated with calls from news stations. And no one local knows what’s going on because it’s a state investigation,” said Bachand.
WREG went to Judge Boeckmann’s home in Wynne, but no one answered the front door.
We noticed the garage was open and we could see Judge Boeckmann’s pick up truck.
But as we approached, someone slammed the access door to the house and closed the metal garage door.
The message seemed clear that no one inside the house wanted to talk.
But at Cross County District Court, Vivian Fiorito said the Judge’s absence Thursday speaks volumes.
“If he didn’t do it, he should have showed up, but he didn’t. He’s hiding. So that tells you everything right there,” said Fiorito.
According to the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, the Judge’s inappropriate behavior dates back to 2009.