Here’s a look at our top stories from last week:
- Examining Judge Lincoln’s ‘Transparency’ Record. Judge Lincoln recently said that his office has ‘always fully complied with Arkansas’ FOI law.’ We beg to differ.
- Why I Can’t Support White County Judge Lincoln. Community leader Scott Biddle weighs in on Judge Lincoln’s recording in light of the upcoming primary.
- Audio: New Ads In White County Focus On Judge Lincoln’s Record. Two new ads have hit the airwaves in White County. One ad highlights Judge Mike Lincoln’s ethics violation. The other focuses on his OEM director’s misuse of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
Two new ads are hitting the airwaves in White County on Friday, in lieu of the upcoming primary election on May 22nd.
Hear the ads for yourself:
OEM credit card:
Republican White County Judge candidate Bill Haynie was bitten by a snake yesterday while putting up a campaign sign. He has been hospitalized and is expected to make a full recovery, but he has been experiencing a lot of pain, according to his wife.
The Arkansas Patriot offers our prayers & sincere best wishes to Mr. Haynie during this time.
We will keep you posted on further developments.
The Personnel & Public Safety committee of the White County Quorum Court will meeting tonight. The full agenda has not been released, even to some of the JPs, but I am told that at least one issue for discussion will be moving the elections department of the county under the judge’s office. It is currently under the county clerk’s office.
Justice of the Peace Cameron Cooper (R-Rose Bud) who chairs the committee told me just moments ago that Arkansas Attorney General opinions have said that the elections division does technically belong under the county judge’s office, but the judge can delegate that position to another department. He said the issue is being discussed because questions have been raised about who the county election coordinator answers to regarding time sheets, pay raises, etc.
After speaking with some other members of the court this afternoon, it doesn’t appear there will be enough votes to move the elections division anywhere. We should know for sure after tonight’s meeting.
I’ll keep you posted.
The Searcy paper has finally picked up on a story that I have been reporting on here for about a month: the potential legal violations of the appraiser who was hired by White County to appraise our shiny new OEM building in November. (And, of course, they did not credit The Patriot for their information. Surprise!)
This story ran in yesterday’s paper, but it strikingly misses the point of what I have been saying for weeks, and the point of the investigation that has been initiated by 2 White County JPs. At best, it is poor journalism. At worst, it is intellectually dishonest.
If you read the article in the paper–and the comments from the county judge–you would think that the JPs are just upset because they didn’t get their way, they didn’t like the outcome of the appraisal, they don’t like the judge, or they’re just ‘troublemakers.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
The paper failed to make a crucially important distinction:
The investigation is a direct request from elected members of the county government to make a ruling on whether or not Mr. Davis was licensed to conduct the appraisal.
The investigation is not a request for a ruling on the accuracy of the appraisal itself. Continue reading
A few observations from the article that would be hilarious if they were not so sad, and related to such a serious matter:
- The paper spoke with Mr. Osborn about the incident. His response? “I wasn’t THAT drunk!” Direct quote: “I wasn’t highly intoxicated and I wasn’t driving erratically.” Searcy PD seems to disagree with that assessment…as does Mr. Osborn’s breathalyzer.
- White County Judge Mike Lincoln was asked to comment about the incident. His response? “I would hope that [all county officials] would adhere to the law…I want to refrain from comment until we get more information.” Mr. Osborn’s blood-alchol level was .13. Respectfully, what further information is needed before this actions are condemned?
- Judge Lincoln also said he ‘wasn’t sure if the offense could lead to removal from office.’ Quite honestly, that could not be more irrelevant. Mr. Osborn should resign, and the judge should be demanding that he do so.
I think this incident demonstrates a broader problem that we have in our humble White County community: a lack of humility from public officials. Some would even call it arrogance. It is not only a feeling of entitlement and disregard for the law, but a failure to accept responsibility for mistakes.