Bart Hester covering madly for his anti-gay allies, the Duggars | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bart Hester covering madly for his anti-gay allies, the Duggars

Posted By on Sun, May 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM

JUDGE STACEY ZIMMERMAND: Who asked her to destroy the record of a police child molestation investigation? And on what legal basis did she make the decision to destroy a public record?
  • JUDGE STACEY ZIMMERMAND: Who asked her to destroy the record of a police child molestation investigation? And on what legal basis did she make the decision to destroy a public record?
Sen. Bart Hester told Northwest Arkansas TV stations yesterday that the Springdale police chief should be fired and the State Police should investigate because ….. the Springdale police department obeyed the law.

Hester is doing nothing more than carrying water for his friends in the anti-gay jihad, the Jim Bob Duggar family, their reality TV show livelihood now threatened by the disclosure of sexual molestations by son Josh Duggar some years ago, the coverup of the acts by his parents and, now, the connivance of a friendly circuit judge in destruction of the record of a belated police investigation in 2006.

From KSFM:

A state senator from Northwest Arkansas is calling for the Springdale police chief to be fired over the recent release of a 2006 police report detailing accusations that Josh Duggar as a teenager molested five underage girls.

Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, said the girls have been re-victimized now that the report is public. He said Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley acted recklessly in releasing the report and should be held accountable.

“The law to protect minors’ identities is not a suggestion,” Hester, pictured, said Saturday (May 23). “So sad to see the person charged with protecting the community being so reckless and irresponsible. I believe it is unavoidable that the Springdale police chief should be terminated. She has re-victimized these young ladies.”

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said O’Kelley and Springdale City Attorney Ernest Cate determined after researching the matter that the report had to be released under law.

“From every indication I have the chief and city attorney reluctantly did what they had to do to comply with the state FOI (freedom of information) law,” Sprouse said Saturday (May 23).

So much is wrong with this, just as there is much questionable about Judge Stacy Zimmerman's decision to order the police report destroyed. The law DOES provide for protection of the identity of minor victims. The law also requires release of police reports and files of completed investigations. It is, by one interpretation of the law, a crime to destroy a public record. No individual victim was identified in the police report released to multiple media under the FOI after Springdale redacted the report.  (By the way, the police chief has retired effective the end of June.)

State Police jurisdiction in this matter — which Hester seeks — is questionable. But if there is to be an investigation, let's investigate how and why Zimmerman hurriedly ordered an official record of a public policy agency destroyed, without apparent notice to anyone but whoever made the complaint? Was the complainant Jim Bob Duggar, an old political ally of Mike Huckabee, to whom Zimmerman owes her place on the bench? The order came too late, of course, the report was already in wide circulation.

Until yesterday, the Duggar clan and its allies such as Huckabee, Hester and Jon Woods had little concern for victims, but only for the unflattering attention to the Duggar family. This was a closed family matter and any publicity was unfair to Josh Duggar, who'd apologized for his "mistakes."

Yes, let's investigate. Why weren't authorities notified of multiple allegations of sexual molestation in 2002? Should not DHS investigate a family that was aware of such actions and did nothing? What happened in that other secret court hearing in which Josh Duggar was involved in 2007. Did it pertain to a listing on the confidential registry that identifies people who've been named in credible allegations of child mistreatment? If it did, did young Duggar get preferential treatment? What judge handled that case? Did Zimmerman seek input from Springdale police or other legal authorities before summarily destroying a record of a police investigation?

Hester on the one hand wants to declare this a closed family issue, except that he'd like to harass and investigate law-abiding people who contribute to discomfort of his political allies. If we are to investigate, let's not limit the investigation to Hester's enemies.

I hope noise from Hester isn't enough to force a waste of time by the State Police on a witch hunt over an action that was clearly legal. But in today's Arkansas, you can't be too sure. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been all too willing to go along with Hester in other matters — particularly official sanction of discrimination against gay people. Which so happens to be a pet project of the Duggar family, too. 

There are reasons records of police investigations are maintained, even though they be reeducated to prevent identities of minors and victims. It's a record of whether a thorough job was done and whether decisions to prosecute or not prosecute were fairly made. Wouldn't you like to have a record of the contact between Josh Duggar and a family friend, a state trooper now serving a long prison sentence for child pornography. The Duggars approach of the trooper about young Duggar's action reportedly produced a "stern" lecture for young Duggar. But no official report. No record. No report to state officials. Oh, yes, there's some investigating of high interest, but not likely ones that Hester would endorse.



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