If you seek justice in Saline County Arkansas, you may find your search fruitless. The political landscape in this small Arkansas county has skeletons in the closet that seemingly reach their slimy tentacles to Washington D.C. Politics have always been for the "not faint of heart" in this sleepy little wide place in the road that sits just minutes from the Capitol of Arkansas. Whispered stories of presidential involvement in murder, drug running and organized crime are spread so matter of factly in the local communities that it has become a whispered joke among residents. Almost everyone knows someone whose life was taken because of information they knew. The populace knows of connections of a past congressman involved in murder to silence a potential witness. Rumors of POTUS drug running are believed as gospel and the lives of two young teens are laid at the feet of those in the know. Understanding the risk, this writer would rather be murdered and face judgement for trying to speak the truth than to accomplice himself and carry the blood of wrong doing to his judgement. Many on this board seem to think that times have changed since the wild 80s, however, the past is not the past. We still have more than a share of political and judicial cronyism. One instance is the recent election of a district judge. Stephanie Cassidy recently won a seat as a district judge in the county. That is great for her. She spent ENORMOUS amounts of money to win the seat. You could not turn around without bumping a sign that begged for your vote for her. This writer received no less than 5 mailings from her campaign before election time. A very large amount of money was spent for a position that pays in the $50,000 range annually. Here is the kicker, her husband is the prosecuting attorney... yes, his team will be prosecuting most cases heard in her court. The campaign replied, only if asked, there was no conflict. Now, from my viewpoint, I do not want to sit accused in that courtroom. Should there be a potential conflict, which in my opinion is every case, the judge is free to appoint a special judge to hear the case. Usually judges pick a local lawyer to sit in their stead and the public pick up the tab. We pay both the judges salary and the special judges salary. In my opinion we have just elected to pay a judge to sit at home and draw a salary while special judges will be able to pick up a little extra cash. Now, if I am a special judge, I like the money. I will most likely make rulings the sitting judge will appreciate so I will be invited back. Justice in Saline County? Good luck.
Cronyism crosses party lines so frequently in Saline County that the Republican party and Democratic party should combine headquarters and save rent. We have a, first Republican then Democrat then Republican sheriff. We have a county clerk that used to head the state GOP party and accused his opponent of jumping parties to run against him, at the same time supporting the aforementioned sheriff in his reelection. We have police chiefs linked to murder, we have past prosecutors also linked to murder, imprisoned, and returned to work on the county payroll.
These tales only scratch the surface, until the people rise up and demand justice, none will be given. A caution, if you do demand justice, wear a bullet proof vest, watch your back and be prepared to be called a hater... just sayin.