Rutledge Reappoints Jonesboro Attorney to Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission

June 29, 2023

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Leslie Rutledge is proud to reappoint D. Chris Gardner of Jonesboro to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission (JDDC) to serve on an Investigation Panel effective July 1, 2023. Gardner currently serves as member of JDDC’s Hearing Panel where he was appointed by then Attorney General Rutledge in 2017. 

“Chris has served the Commission honorably over the past six years, and I am pleased he will continue his public service in this new role.” said Lieutenant Governor Rutledge. “He has proven he can provide competent, fair, and unbiased judgment when considering matters brought before the Commission. I would also like to thank Rex Terry who has honorably served on the Commission in this role since 2011.” 

Gardner says, “I am very grateful to Lt. Gov. Rutledge for the opportunity to continue my service with the Commission and to fulfill our joint commitment to its important mission of enforcing judicial ethics and ensuring that every Arkansan has access to a fair, unbiased, and competent judiciary.”
Gardner will replace Fort Smith Attorney Rex Terry, who is term-limited, and will serve a six-year term on the Commission ending June 30, 2029. 

About Chris Gardner  Gardner is the founding member of Gardner Milner, PLLC of Jonesboro,
Arkansas, a business and commercial law firm. In 2015, Gardner was appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas Pollution Control & Ecology Commission. The Governor also appointed him to serve three (3) times as a Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2015 and 2021. In 2017, Arkansas Attorney General  Leslie Rutledge appointed Gardner to serve on the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission. Gardner is the former Chairman of the Board of E.C. Barton & Company, a large Arkansas-based multi-state retailer of building materials.  He is also a member of the Craighead County, Arkansas, and American Bar Associations, having served as Program Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President of the former. Gardner is originally from Paragould and graduated from Greene County Tech High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Arkansas State University and his juris doctorate, with honors, from the William H. Bowen School of Law, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is married to Dr. Shelly R. Gardner, and they have two adult children, Evan Gardner and Olivia McPherson. Dr. Gardner received her Doctor of Pharmacy from UAMS Medical School of Pharmacy in Little Rock and has been in the active practice of pharmacy since 1995.

About Lieutenant Governor Leslie Rutledge  Leslie Carol Rutledge was sworn in on January 10, 2023 as Arkansas’s 21st Lieutenant Governor and the first woman to ever hold the State’s second-highest office.  Rutledge previously served two-terms as the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas from 2015-2023. She was also the first woman and first Republican elected to the office of Attorney General.  A seventh-generation Arkansan, Rutledge grew up on a cattle farm and attended school at the Southside School District in Independence County. From her mother, an elementary school teacher, and her father, a lawyer and a judge, Rutledge learned the importance of hard work and service. Rutledge is an Arkansas lawyer who has spent her career serving the public.She graduated from the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge is admitted to practice law in Arkansas, Washington D.C., and before the U.S. Supreme Court. Rutledge’s career in public service includes being a judicial clerk for Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Josephine Hart, Deputy Counsel in the Office of Governor Mike Huckabee, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County, and Attorney for Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. Rutledge was Deputy Counsel for the Mike Huckabee for President 2008 campaign, Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee and Counsel for the Republican National Committee during the 2012 Presidential campaign. Over the years, her civic service has extended to community organizations including the Junior League, Alpha Delta Pi Alumni, National Rifle Association, Federalist Society, Women in Networking in Central Arkansas and the Republican National Lawyers Association.
Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and farms in Crittenden County and Independence County.