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PO Box 307, Bryant AR 72089, 501.303.4010, is news & community for Saline County, Arkansas since 2007. Join today and get involved!



Justice Is Just Another Word In The Dictionary

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.

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Comment by Jon Madden on May 30, 2012 at 1:22pm

Don't personally know either Standridge or Casady.  My vote went for Standridge based solely on the issue of conflict of interest.  I think the part of that statement that gets overlooked is "or the appearance thereof".

I wish I could understand why people make such light of the corruption.  No, it is not 1920 and it is no where near as rampant as it was back from the 80's and 90's.  But people need to realize that the single reason why that corruption took such a nose dive was because it came at the hands of the deaths of two children.  The subsequent cover-up of those deaths was to try and keep the corruption rolling.  It was not just making money for people in Washington DC, it was making some local people very wealthy as well.  Linda's tenacity in trying to uncover the truth about who killed Kevin and Don unknowingly exposed the Barry Seal operation.  The people who keep deflecting and excusing away the tragedy need to understand that what people want is not an investigation into the federal and state corruption.  What is wanted is the local in depth investigation that has never been conducted.  NEVER.  Anyone who claims it has been looked into with even an ounce of seriousness are liars.  Sorry to be blunt but that is just the truth.  They and the others who died to keep the truth hid deserve some form of justice.

Comment by Henry on May 30, 2012 at 1:02pm

I agree wholeheartedly.  I mean, bootleggers running the towns, gangster-backed politicians, law enforcement in the pockets of organized crime...what has this county come to?  Oh wait my bad, for a minute there I thought I got out of my time machine in Chicago in the 1920s.  Common mistake on my part, carry on.

Comment by Bud Lidzy on May 29, 2012 at 5:38pm
Oh, and for the record, I don't expect law enforcement to prevent murder, most times they would have to be psychic to do it, or be involved of course... That said, I do expect them to use all resources and diligence to solve them, and talking to Mrs. Ives, that seems to be her major frustration. As far as this post or blog or whatever it is, WOW! Being a county resident I've heard bits and pieces of this scandal and that but when you lay a bunch together it kinda makes me not so proud of the county and politics here as a whole. I miss the good ole days when a county official would get caught DUI and resign in shame. One of myfirst memories of good ole politics here was Dan Harmon flipping me off on the freeway on the way to work. We've come a long way baby, down the wrong road.
Comment by Chris on May 29, 2012 at 5:29pm
I'm changing the subject? The OP made the subject, not me. I commented on one of his as well as others claim that of murder and vengeance. You people claim witnesses are dying, and people are being threatened.

So tell me, if these conspiracies are true, where are these bodies from the last 10 years? Why are there so many vocal people, yet nobody is missing? Why aren't these so called "eye witnesses" dead?
Comment by Bud Lidzy on May 29, 2012 at 5:28pm
I don't know the political undertones or innuendos but I would guess at the number of murders. I would estimate it in the neighborhood of let's say... Too many.
Comment by Peter Glenn on May 29, 2012 at 5:24pm

I learned a lot this year about the good old boy system.  It has gotten so bad over the last few years.  Now that I know that our law enforcement agencies hire people with bad backgrounds I am more convinced than ever that there's some hand shakin and back patting deals going on. The cross endorsements were across the board.  You could tell who the "chosen ones" were. Only in Saline County could the outcome of an election be more important than that a campaign was clean.  I hope to hear more from Linda Ives on this blog because she seems to know more about the happenings in the county than any one other person.  I could tell that her only motive is to do her part in getting the county rid of bad politics so eventually justice can be served for her family and for those other families who cannot find justice.  It's going to take a lot of other people waking up, asking questions and getting involved.  And Chris, you are so good at changing the subject.  It was about the dirty politics in general.  Don't get so defensive.

Comment by Chris on May 29, 2012 at 4:53pm
How many people have been murdered in Saline County within the last 10 years?
Comment by Jennifer Johnson on May 29, 2012 at 4:51pm

Regarding the Stephanie Casady issue, it's real sad that people didn't see the conflict in that from a mile away. I read somewhere that they were going to cure conflicts by hiring a special prosecutor. I don't know if that's true -- that's just what I read. Either remedy means more unnecessarily spent tax dollars. I know that's what I look for in my elected officials. 

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