The line is open | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 20, 2009

The line is open

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 5:03 PM

And I'm moving on.

PS -- Yes, I know an Ark. mayor was arrested again for DWI and pot possession and that somebody in western Ark. faces charges for sex with a dog and a palomino, but you're going to have to find those stories on your own. This is a high-class blog.

PPS -- I was being flip. Harrison Daily Times story on mayor's arrest on the jump.

By GINGER SHIRAS
Time Staff

       FAYETTEVILLE - Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney was arrested Wednesday night in Washington County for second-offense  drunk driving and possessing marijuana, authorities said.
       McKinney said early Friday morning that he would issue a press release later in the day.
       Bret Hagan, patrol sergeant for the Washington County sheriff's office, said Friday morning that the charges on which McKinney was arrested were listed on the jail book as misdemeanors, but his office had since learned that McKinney had a previous marijuana conviction.
       A second marijuana offense is a felony, Sgt. Hagan said. He said officers would ask the prosecutor's office for a felony arrest warrant and probably give McKinney an opportunity to turn himself in and receive a date to appear in circuit court.
       McKinney was arrested for speeding between Eureka Springs and Berryville on March 23 of last year and charged with drunk driving and marijuana possession. He was fined $1,460.
       His Carroll County sentence of 9 days in jail for drunk driving and 30 days for marijuana possession was suspended but the plea agreement said he would serve the jail time if he re-offended within a year.
       Sgt. Hagan said when the Washington County prosecutor reviewed McKinney's court history, he likely would talk with the Carroll County prosecutor about the matter.
       He said McKinney was arrested on Interstate 540 near the town of Johnson at 8:20 p.m. Wednesday. In addition to the marijuana and drunk driving charges, he was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia and careless driving, the sergeant said.
       McKinney, 56, has served as Berryville's mayor since 1991, keeping taxes controlled while the city built a $5 million community center, a new fire station and made other city improvements. The town has no property taxes, relying instead on sales taxes paid by non-residents as well as residents at Wal-Mart and other stores.
       In the earlier arrest, McKinney was stopped by a Carroll County sheriff's deputy about 1 a.m. Easter Sunday near the Outpost convenience store and arrested after taking a field sobriety test. The officer then found a "small mount of marijuana," according to Sheriff Bob Grudek. McKinney said at the time that the marijuana belonged to somebody else, that he had found it in his truck and had planned to return it.
       Mayor McKinney apologized to the city for his "bad decisions" the next day and said he would talk with city council members in hopes of finishing his term to complete projects that were underway. The council did not mention his arrest publicly and he presided at its next meeting.
       The mayor has almost two years left to serve on his current four-year term


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