Two years after a Republican was bounced from the ballot, the state police investigator suspected of helping get him tossed from the race is found guilty in court.
The criminal database helps police officers quickly learn who they are dealing with.
If the driver stopped on the highway has a criminal record…an officer needs to know it.
But if an investigator taps into the database just because he is curious about a political candidate…that's a crime.
Tom Fite…a Republican…was running for State Representative in a reliably Republican district back in 2010.
But word of a decades old criminal conviction leaked out during the campaign and a judge ruled Fite ineligible…allowing Democrat Leslie Milam-Post to win without opposition.
On Tuesday a Fort Smith judge agreed with a prosecutor that former Arkansas State Police investigator Chris Anderson…a political supporter of Milam-Post…entered Fite's name into the ACIC (Arkansas Crime Information Center) database during the campaign.
It couldn't be proven that Anderson shared what he found to help Milam-Post, so he was charged with a misdemeanor.
On Tuesday Anderson changed his plea from "not guilty" to "no contest," was found guilty, and was fined the maximum $2,500.00 and given a one year suspended sentence.
Anderson is now retired and lives in Alabama.
Anderson told the judge that he had some memory of some trouble Fite had gotten into and searched Fite's name in the interest of curiosity, not politics.
Air date: Sept. 11th, 2012
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