There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the potential legal implications of the White County Judge’s documented actions. Let’s see what the law actually says on the matter. It’s far more serious than some commenters on previous posts have portrayed it.
The items Mr. Horton quoted are all found in Arkansas Code 7-1-103 “Miscellaneous misdemeanor offenses — Penalties.”
The violation regarding the sign on the truck is covered under 7-1-103(a)(6):
“It shall be unlawful for any campaign banners, campaign signs, or other campaign literature to be placed on any cars, trucks, tractors, or other vehicles belonging to the State of Arkansas or any municipality, county, or school district in the state”
The penalty section is very interesting as well:
(b) (1) Except as otherwise provided, the violation of any provision of this section shall be a Class A misdemeanor.
(2) (A) Any person convicted under the provisions of this section shall thereafter be ineligible to hold any office or employment in any of the departments in this state.
(B) (i) If any person is convicted under the provisions of this section while employed by any of the departments of this state, he or she shall be removed from employment immediately.
(ii) If any person is convicted under the provisions of this section while holding public office, the conviction shall be deemed a misfeasance and malfeasance in office and shall subject the person to impeachment.
So, if Judge Lincoln has taken these actions he is in fact guilty of a misdemeanor which means he should be removed from office for misfeasance and malfeasance and ineligible to run for office in the future. The irony is that this depends on a prosecutor (whose budget is determined by the County) being willing to prosecute the judge for a clearly provable offense.
Scott Biddle is a guest contributor to The Arkansas Patriot.