May 26, 2015

What's a Police Chief to do when faced with the choice to break the law and protect a powerful personality or comply with the law and release embarrassing documents?

Springdale Police Chief Kathy O'Kelley chose wisely, and complied with the lawful FOIA request, released the police report on Josh Duggar's abuse of underage girls, even though she had to know it was going to bounce back on her hard.

Senator Bart Hester, on the other hand, has no such regard for the laws he is charged with making in the state legislature.

In Touch Weekly got the police report through a lawful Freedom of Information request, but did not publish any actual names.

Arkansas State Sen. Bart Hester is now calling for the firing of Springdale Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley for releasing the report to In Touch Weekly, noted KFSM.

Hester, a Republican, stated on May 23:

"The law to protect minors’ identities is not a suggestion. 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 countered, "From every indication I have the chief and city attorney (Ernest Cate) reluctantly did what they had to do to comply with the state FOI law."

Undeterred, Hester added, "The city of Springdale’s liability seems endless on this. I certainly anticipate criminal charges against Chief O’Kelley."

On that question of protecting minors' identities? None of the people involved are minors, so that's just Hester blowing smoke. It appears to be something he does often.

Earlier this year, Hester introduced a bill that would allow not allow cities and counties in Arkansas to pass civil rights protection bills that are stronger than federal laws, reported KFSM.

During an interview with CNN in April, Hester defended his bill as not being discriminatory against gays, but rather not forcing (religious) people to participate in gay marriage ceremonies (video above).

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