|Updated: 10/10/2012 5:48 pm
||Published: 10/10/2012 3:29 pm
CONWAY, AR - The attorney for Jeff Johnston wanted the case against his client thrown out because he believed the judge didn’t have the authority to issue an arrest warrant to begin with.
Not only did Judge Rhonda Wood disagree, she gave the attorney a $5,000 reminder on why he’s wrong.
A first for attorney Joe Don Winningham, but he says, not the last you’ll hear from him in this case.
Winningham is defending Jeff Johnston, the Faulkner County Administrator accused of using taxpayer funds to asphalt his 538-foot driveway in 2008.
Wednesday afternoon, Winningham argued Judge Wood had no authority to issue an arrest warrant for Johnston, because she’s a juvenile judge.
Reading from a prepared ruling, Wood called the motion “frivolous and without merit,” and added she’s greatly disappointed it came after Winningham “looked her in the eye before the last hearing and said he wouldn’t contest that issue.”
“I don’t file motions unless I think they’re relevant,” Winningham told FOX16’s David Goins.
“Last time we talked, you thought there was politics involved,” Goins said. “You still feel that way?”
“I’m not going to get into anything,” Winningham said. “I stand by my motion that I filed.”
Johnston, still holding down a county job while trying to keep himself out of prison, says he’s staying the course.
“[Winningham] is doing his job to the very best of his ability and I have total faith in him,” Johnston said.
A faith that so far, has only produced a $5,000 fine.
The judge gave Winningham 21 days to withdraw his motion and she would drop the fine. Winningham says he’s not sure he’ll do that, and he might just pay the money.