On Thursday, June 8, 2023, the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct, Panel D suspended attorney Maurice L. Taggart for serious misconduct.
The case is titled “In Re: Maurice L. Taggart,” and was brought by Lisa Ballard, Executive Director of the Supreme Court Office of Professional Conduct, with case no. 2023-016.
A verified Petition for Interim Suspension was filed alleging that Taggart continued practice of law currently poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public and to his clients.
This action by the Committee was in relation to Taggart having been charged with 46 counts of forgery, 38 counts of theft of property, and one count of abuse of office. The scheme, which Taggart allegedly orchestrated, involved embezzling $667,384 from the Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency, where Taggart held the position of Director.
Rodrick Morris of Houston, who happens to be Maurice L. Taggart’s classmate from Pine Bluff High School Class of 1998, faces charges identical to Taggart’s, except for the absence of the abuse of office charge. Both individuals, currently 43 years old, were 39 at the time when the alleged violations took place.
According to a report by Arkansas Online, “The two are alleged to have submitted false invoices for asbestos analysis and abatement in houses being torn down by Urban Renewal, a subsidiary agency associated with Go Forward Pine Bluff, according to the charging paperwork filed by Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter late Thursday. The invoices, ranging from less than $6,000 to almost $23,000, were then paid by the city of Pine Bluff.”
The Committee has concluded that the allegations presented in the petition amount to serious misconduct and involve alleged violations of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct, and further concluded that an interim suspension of Taggart’s law practice privileges, as granted by his Arkansas law license, is warranted.
The Disposition states:
“It is therefore ORDERED that Respondent Maurice L. Taggart be, and he hereby is, SUSPENDED from the practice of law within this jurisdiction immediately upon the filing of this Order with the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court.”
Mr. Taggart earned his law degree from the University of Arkansas, William H. Bowen School of Law. He has been admitted to practice in Arkansas, license no. 2021042. Taggart’s info can be found on LinkedIn.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.