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Saline County Politics

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Saline County Politics

City and County government elections, affairs, public service and political happenings.

Members: 185
Latest Activity: 15 hours ago

Discussion Forum

When & Where to Vote on Primary Election Day May 20

Started by Shelli Russell. Last reply by Grover Smith May 22. 1 Reply

My personal take on the Sheriff's race

Started by Jeff Morris. Last reply by James Levisee May 19. 19 Replies

4-Term Benton Alderman, Ponder, Asks for Another

Started by Shelli Russell. Last reply by Thelma Edwards Poole May 2. 1 Reply

Candidates, Or So I Have Heard...

Started by Shelli Russell. Last reply by Donna Huddleston Apr 4. 11 Replies

Sheriff Candidates Debate in Shannon Hills?

Started by Kylee Hoover. Last reply by Shelli Russell Mar 23. 4 Replies

E.J. Harris

Started by timothylamonica. Last reply by timothylamonica Mar 9. 6 Replies

Creekmore Switches Parties for 2014 Race

Started by Shelli Russell. Last reply by Michael Guest Mar 8. 9 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Shelli Russell on May 20, 2014 at 10:58pm

He didn't have an opponent who was a Democrat, therefore, he was not in the Primary. The Primary Election determines who will run for each party. If Rodney Goshien is your candidate, you can vote for him in November.

Comment by Melanie McCann on May 20, 2014 at 10:06pm
What happen to Rodney Goshien Sr., the only Democrat running. Why isn't his name been showing up? It was on the ballots!
Comment by EJ HARRIS on November 18, 2013 at 9:34am

Announcing Harris 4 Sheriff. Harris is the most qualified among all candidates. 32 years of law enforcement experience and resident of Saline County for 28 years, Never worked for Saline County law enforcement.

 

Comment by Elizabeth Bowden on October 20, 2013 at 1:47pm
Tim has my vote!
Comment by Spanky on October 29, 2010 at 7:51am
EJ Harris said
In order to make a profit, your office must take in, or make, more than the appropriation that you receive from the Saline County Quorum Court. I am sure that the Quorum Court and a lot of business men and women in Saline County would be amazed if you could do that. It would be almost like perpetual motion.

Higher taxes, looks like EJ is going to tax businesses. The ONLY way for the office to bring in more revenue is to tax the people of the county. EJ dont be stupid, we are Taxed Enough Already!
Comment by Ricky David Tripp on October 29, 2010 at 7:20am
Since Mr. Harris and his cohorts have all decided that Sheriff Pennington is a moron who needs to be replaced, I would LOVE to hear an explanation as to how he got named Sheriff of the Year by a majority of his peers in law enforcement. Safe to assume that the Arkansas State Fraternal Order of Police got it WRONG?
Comment by Chris on October 28, 2010 at 11:41pm
Saline County does house 309's. You forgot your update.

I stopped there. Quite sure the rest is extremely misinforming as well.
Comment by EJ HARRIS on October 28, 2010 at 11:29pm
Get out and vote early. Also on November 2,2010. Harris for Sheriff.

http://www.todaysthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=107071

The Saline County Detention Center in Benton is not housing Act 309 prisoners for the state Department of Correction temporarily.The future of the 309 program at the Saline County Detention Center hangs in balance after an inmate's girlfriend allegedly smuggled alcohol into the facility while visiting Memorial Day weekend.

Sheriff Pennington says he notified Bill Terry with the Department of Correction immediately.

"He came down and suspended our program temporarily upon further investigation," says Pennington.

Act 309 (PDF), also known as the 309 program, is used to provide additional space for the care and custody of state inmates temporarily.

The 309 inmates are usually responsible for labor around the facility like mowing grass, washing dishes along with other duties.

Sheriff Pennington says the woman walked into the facility somehow concealing the alcoholic beverages, slipping it by security and even slipping it by the cameras. But he says following the visit the two left the evidence behind."

When asked where the bottles were found, Pennington replied, "No, in the bonding area where the bail bondsmen come in and out." This is described as a room that is not usually used for visitation purposes.


All five of the county's 309 inmates have been removed from the Saline County Detention Center. Even though those inmates have been removed, the Saline County Sheriff's Office still felt it was necessary to revamp their security measures with an emphasis on visitation.

The following are Sheriff Candidate Harris' comments on Pennington's interview with KTHV:

1.)The Bonding room is next to the Booking area. This room is in clear view of any jailer(s) working in the Booking area. As visible as this room is, not only from the front hallway and Booking area, any inappropriate behavior should have been noticed when it happened, not later after visitation was over as told by the sheriff. The room is seldom used by bail bond company to bond inmates out because the sheriff has stopped all bail bonds company from bonding any prisoner out on Felony bonds. They must go through the sheriff to bond out. This cuts into the bail bond companies' business (nearly putting them out of business in Saline County) and makes the sheriff responsible for apprehending the persons if they do not show up for court or FTA (Failure to Appear).

By the sheriff being responsible for the bonds, the sheriff's office is charged as a "Skip Tracer" or bondsman/bonds woman would be and responsible for returning the inmate to the jail. I may be wrong, but I believe Saline County sheriff is the only sheriff in the state of Arkansas that has this policy that affects the income of bail bond companies' and puts the burden of more work for an already overworked and strained manpower problem at your office. This is supposed to be a money-making project for the county at it's inception. Where does the money go? Was there a mention of this in your list of accomplishments in your autobiographical press release to the Courier? I don't remember seeing it. The bail bond business is just about out of business in Saline County. I would never allow this practice. Putting people out of work is just not the thing to do.

2.)As far as I know, the jail has never had a policy of searching the visitors of 309 inmates, but they may have one now after this latest fiasco. What security measures is the sheriff talking about? With cameras and microphones recording pictures and sound, the female should not have been able to "slip it by security and slipping it by the cameras" as the sheriff said. What security? Please explain to us the jail security.

3.)According to what the sheriff told the television station, he does not consider this a big loss for the facility. Sheriff, if you are not considering this a big loss for the facility, here is a little economics lesson for you and your trusted advisor(s):

The five Act 309 inmates that were there save Saline County at least $100,000 or more per year in labor costs of not having to hire free-world help to perform the daily duties that the Act 309 inmates do.

Apparently the sheriff was not aware of exactly what role or function the Act 309 inmates performed at the jail. Contrary to what the sheriff said, sources state that Act 309 inmates do not wash dishes in the kitchen. Dishes are washed by misdemeanor prisoners that are working off fines, if they can get them to work.

Sheriff, here is what the Act 309 inmates do in your jail. They cook meals in the kitchen, help out on a daily basis at the Senior Citizen's Center in Benton (they are missing that help), make minor electrical and plumbing repairs at the jail, mow grass at the jail, do the jail laundry on a daily basis, and many other duties at the jail as assigned.

After 18 months at the wheel, the sheriff was not aware of the Act 309 inmates' exact duties. I guess if patrol experience is all you have ever had in your police career, you probably wouldn't know this unless you had enough interest in the overall job to find out and acquaint yourself with what they are. Patrol experience is fine and you were a pretty good patrol sergeant, but you don't have anyone with the necessary business experience or necessary assistants to advise you as how to operate the office that you are in the way it should be managed.

Isn't there anyone in your administration with any knowledge of how to run a successful business that you can rely on to advise you on matters such as this? Seems like there is someone whom you trust that may be giving you some bum scoop on the mistaken idea that you can operate the Saline County sheriff's office and make a profit.

In order to make a profit, your office must take in, or make, more than the appropriation that you receive from the Saline County Quorum Court. I am sure that the Quorum Court and a lot of business men and women in Saline County would be amazed if you could do that. It would be almost like perpetual motion.

And, when you said in what read like your autobiography that was printed in the Courier the other day, “This job, as sheriff, would be the perfect job if it didn’t include running a jail” well, sheriff, that's part of the job you hired on to do. Do you think the voters of Saline County should give you another two years to try and learn how to run it properly?

And again, why did it take almost a week and a half for someone to come forward from the sheriff's office and tell the newspaper about this loss of Act 309 inmates. But, both the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Benton Courier were notified immediately by your office (shortly after the Act 309 inmate caper was made public) of the 73.5 pounds of marijuana that was estimated by someone at your department of having a street value of $700,000. Does the person that estimated the value of this 73.5 pounds of marijuana have any drug experience at all? How much do you think the street value (if sold on the street) would be?

I will be happy to take over for you on January 01, 2011. At that time, I will show you how someone with proper training and professional experience will fulfill all the duties of the sheriff's office and give the citizens of the county in which I live the protection and service they deserve.

Again, thank you for implementing some of my announced plans. It will save me and my staff of "proven professionals" and the employees that are already working at the sheriff's office from having to start from scratch.

My administration will improve on whatever (if anything) you have done in the meantime.

Did you hear our Sheriff was selected Arkansas' Sheriff of the year? Well I can say that's pretty good for a Saline County Sheriff.We can appreciate the fact that the Sheriff has applied most of the candidate for Sheriff Harris changes he suggested some months ago.I appreciate the changes before Harris is elected the new Sheriff in town.Harris suggested grants,training employees, working with Saline County prosecutors.The Sheriff hasn't started collecting on hot checks recovery or explain where the $96,000.00 grant came from.I request the Sheriff to publish where every penny went to cameras for the patrol division.Upgraded all computers in the Sheriff's Office and jail; and purchasing computers for the patrol division with money saved in the fleet management.Bringing in a part time doctor on board at the jail for $4,700.00 per year verses $34,000.00 previously allocated for this expense.This is why the Sheriff has eight law suits pending in the jail.The law requires jails to provide proper care for inmates and as usual you get what you pay for.Sources indicate two attempted hangings,and one inmate had to provide CPR to the inmate while the jailer watched,due to no training.The medical services were never called. In the last three months the Sheriff had to hire three new employees because others were fired due to policy violations.Lack of training,but the Sheriff ensured jail employees attended a jail standard course. Harris also stated he would upgrade the reserve program,and not sitting in my office.The Sheriff is claiming he is actively upgrading the reserve.My sources indicate this is not true and the present Sheriff only sits in his office and goes out every fifteen minutes to smoke with his secretary.You can check his county vehicle that smells horrible of smoke.I'm sure once this gets out the 309's will clean it inside and out.But no wait the 309's were removed,due to alcohol and sex implications performed in the jail book in area.The tapes of this incident should be made public once the investigation is over,by that time portions of the tape will be changed or lost.The Courier has requested tapes in the past and only received some of the tapes.The Sheriff worked for the Arkansas State Police for 24 years.You need to ask the Sheriff if he was going to be demoted to corporal and a loss of 33% of his salary. Recently the Sheriff has dealt with public inquiry and criticism concerning the day-to-day operations of the Saline County jail.

On June 22,2010 Jail suspended from state program.The Saline County Detention Center in Benton temporarily is not housing Act 309 prisoners for the state Department of Correction. A recent incident resulted in a temporary suspension of the agreement between the Correction Department and Saline County to house prisoners assigned to this program. A visitor brought alcohol to a 309 prisoner, who tried to sneak the substance into the jail. For the Department of Corrections to pull all 309's is a serious incident. The incident needs to be examined more closely by the Courier,TV, and other news stations.The video tapes of the incident need to be examined, all reports and tapes requested by means of freedom of information requested from the Department of Corrections. Several concerned citizens contacted Harris and advised this incident occurred over five days ago, female was involved and sexual indecency occurred and alcohol was consumed. As candidate for Sheriff Harris request the present Sheriff produces the complete tape to the citizens of Saline County. I feel the tapes and written reports will indicate the Sheriff failed to report this incident in a timely manner, and all of the facts revealed.This incident was not reported until concerned citizens requested action.

Approximately, one week ago Department of Corrections removed the 309's,from the Saline County Jail. Sources indicate an inmate had sex with a female and possibly consuming alcohol inside the jail area. The Sheriff Department didn't release any info to the press, paper, etc. The voters need to take a stern look at the problems happening at the jail and total lack of management.

A pair of Saline County probation officers and a sheriff's deputy are named in another federal suit that alleges that the three violated the constitutional rights of Madison and Agnes Wilson during an allegedly improper search of the Wilsons' residence. Probation officers Angela Easterling and Ken Ogden, Deputy Bobby Teague and Sheriff Bruce Pennington are named in the suit, along with a "John Doe" defendant.

Deputy is fired for interaction with
King, puppy mill inmate.A Saline County sheriff’s deputy who took a shine to the most notable female inmate at the detention center in Benton has been terminated following an internal investigation.

Cpl. Jonathan Calma, a jail worker, was fired Wednesday for inappropriate personal interaction with inmate Alisha King, who was returned recently to Saline County to serve a one-year sentence for operating a puppy mill in the Lonsdale area.

Saline County Sheriff's Office stops subscription to Benton Courier.

Due to recent incidents at the jail and
Benton Courier providing detailed information, photos, written state-
ments, and accurate information.

Diabetic inmate say's didn't get insulin.

Bed mats lead to heated confrontation at jail.

Former inmate details abuse at Saline County Jail. "My name is Michael Graham. Graham is just several inmates and former inmates who have told their story of being in the Saline County Detention Center to the Courier. This is the first in a series of articles detailing problems with the Saline County Detention Facility.

Many people have commented about the jail and asked if any one is listening. Ej-harris4sheriff.com is listening! Most citizens' complaints are:2-6 hours to get someone released at the jail and that no other jails around the state take this long to get someone out on bail bond, signature bond or last but not least a sheriff bond.Violent inmates, constitutional rights, letting outsiders bring food, etc., into the inmates. Treating people like criminals when they are paying to get inmates out of jail.

Many citizens have asked "Is there something that can be done to correct and or stop the problem?". The answer to that question is"YES" something can be done.

Elect candidate E.J. Harris for Sheriff and positive change will occur. People will be processed in a timely manner, all inmates will be treated with respect and their constitutional rights will be respected.
Comment by Spanky on October 27, 2010 at 11:04pm
Debate Quote from Saline Courier:
Complaints about medical care for inmates could be addressed by hiring a full-time doctor and nurse, Harris said in response to moderator Dave Woodman’s question about how he would improve that situation. The question also included a “how” in regard to paying for any improvement methods.
Harris said he would “go to the Quorum Court” and tell the justices of the peace what he needed, indicating this would be sufficient for the court to honor his request for full-time medical personnel.Sheriff Pennington denied that inmates have received improper care and proposed imposing a partial fee for inmates’ medication.


EJ wants a full time medical staff and expects the Quorum Court to fund it. Those funds will come out of the taxpayers pocket as a county tax.

Go Sheriff Pennington!
Comment by Spanky on October 27, 2010 at 10:44pm
Chris you got that right. If Harris is elected, James Ward will use the office to pad his security system business.
 
 
 

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