The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected claims by former Jefferson County Judge Jack Jones that he was the victim of malicious prosecution and that his civil rights were violated by brothers and retired State Police investigators Charles and Roger McLemore.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected claims by former Jefferson County Judge Jack Jones that he was the victim of malicious prosecution and that his civil rights were violated by brothers and retired State Police investigators Charles and Roger McLemore.


The court affirmed a ruling by Circuit Judge Marion Humphrey of Pulaski County that granted summary judgment to the McLemores after they had been sued by Jones in 2011.


In a nine-page opinion written by Associate Justice David Glover, the appeals court rejected both Jones’ argument on the malicious prosecution and civil rights claims.


Jones was county judge for Jefferson County, having been elected first in 1989 when the events that led up to the lawsuit began.


The McLemore brothers were special agents with the Arkansas State Police and, according to the court ruling, Jones and Charles McLemore engaged in what Jones called a "heated verbal altercation" in December 2004 or January 2005 over the naming of a road near property Charles McLemore owned.


Jones said Roger McLemore came to his office several times afterward and told Jones "he better do right with Charles" and at least one other person was reportedly told by Charles McLemore that he was "going to get Jones."


Charles McLemore and one of his neighbors disputed Jones’ version of the incident, saying Jones was the one who was agitated.


In February 2005, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into allegations of theft from the county tire shredder and four months later, in May, then-Prosecutor Stevan Dalrymple referred the matter to the Arkansas State Police. Roger McLemore was assigned as the investigator.


The scope of the investigation broadened after that and in late summer 2005, Dalrymple was notified that Jones was a "person of interest" in the investigation. Dalrymple asked that a special prosecutor be named to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest and in November, Lona McCastlain, prosecuting attorney for the 23rd Judicial District-West, was named special prosecutor.


Roger McLemore presented his report to McCastlain in August 2006 and in the spring of 2007, she stepped down because of the workload in her home district.


Robert Dittrich, prosecuting attorney for the 11th Judicial District-West, was named special prosecutor and he remained in that job until after Jones went to trial in 2010.


On June 30, 2007, the Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit presented Dittrich with a report alleging several possible ethical violations and a warrant was issued for Jones’ arrest on Feb. 13, 2008.


Several of those charges were dropped by prosecutors and others dismissed before the trial in 2010, at which Jones was found not guilty.


Regarding Jones’ claims of malicious prosecution, Glover said Jones had to prove malice on the part of the McLemores or that there was insufficient probable cause for his arrest.


Glover said there were numerous items of evidence presented to establish probable cause, including information developed by McLemore and reports from Legislative Audit that were requested by the special prosecutors, while Jones had contended that the charges against him were based solely on affidavits from McLemore "which he claimed either embellished the truth or presented false information to create the appearance of probable cause.


"Jones’ efforts to create questions of fact were either not material, nor related to the existence of probable cause, or both," Glover said in the court ruling.