Faulkner County voters elect clerk with criminal record | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Faulkner County voters elect clerk with criminal record

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 1:25 PM

CRIMINAL RECORD NO PROBLEM: Margaret Darter re-elected Faulkner County clerk.
  • CRIMINAL RECORD NO PROBLEM: Margaret Darter re-elected Faulkner County clerk.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporting indicates that Faulkner County is OK with a dishonest public servant.

I refer to Republican Margaret Darter, who recently resigned as county clerk after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for altering public records so other public officials wouldn't be embarrassed by late filing of required ethics forms.

She ran for election again and was elected Tuesday with almost 56 percent of the vote.

Circuit Judge David Clark, hoping to get voters to fade the heat for him in a lawsuit challenging Darter's ability to hold office after her crime, ruled today that Dartner's obstruction of governmental operations did not qualify as an "infamous crime" and thus was not a constitutional bar to her holding office. He had heard the case before the election, but put off a decision until after the election and also allowed the votes to be counted first.

Past Supreme Court decisions have indicated honesty was an issue in eligibility for office and has disqualified misdemeanor hot check defendants. No word if the Democratic Party will challenge this ruling. Given the state of affairs in Arkansas today — including at the Supreme Court — you have to wonder whether it's a waste of time. If voters don't find a cheating county clerk unworthy of re-election, why should members of the state's highest court?

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