Gary Arnold

Perhaps all that needs to be said about Gary Arnold is that when he became District Juvenile Judge, he awarded Dan Harmon custody of his very young great grandchildren.

Backing up to January 1989, Gary Arnold took office as prosecutor of the Seventh Judicial District of Arkansas, which is the three-county district of Saline, Hot Spring, and Grant County. One of Arnold’s deputy prosecutors was Jean Duffey, who came in and immediately disrupted the well-established “good old boy” system where $2000 could buy off a DWI. Several prominent attorneys and a municipal court judge complained to Arnold, but he supported Jean. The county’s conviction rate for DWI’s alone shot up from 67% to 94% in just six months, which was politically beneficial for Arnold. However, Arnold made an about face when the district’s cops wanted Jean to be appointed to head a newly funded drug task force. Several politically prominent public officials, that are now known to have been involved in illegal drug activity, opposed Jean’s appointment. Arnold, who had higher political ambitions, not only ceased to support Jean, but did what he could to discredit her. For his efforts, he was set up to run unopposed for the district’s juvenile judgeship, a position he has held since 1991. This story is detailed in “The Rise and Demise of Jean Duffey’s Task Force.”