Searcy County Sheriff removed from office - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Searcy County Sheriff removed from office

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MARSHALL -

Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell is losing his job due to a misdemeanor he committed in 1979.

A circuit judge has filed an order removing him after the Arkansas Supreme Court found Cassell's 1979 conviction for possessing stolen hens made him ineligible to serve.

"We've never dealt with it before," said Dewayne Pierce, chief deputy at Searcy County Sheriff's Office.

Pierce is now acting sheriff.

"During the appeal process it was kind of in everybody's mind," Pierce said. "However, it doesn't hit you until it happens."

Cassell has been through the court system over the past few years, after the county prosecutor moved to remove him from office, citing a federal misdemeanor for possession of stolen Cornish hens in 1979.

"When he decided to run he said 'I got into some trouble when I was a kid,'" his son, Cody Cassell, said. "When he started to run, I was the age then he was when he got in trouble so I kind of understood. I was like we all did stupid things."

Cody Cassell, 25, said the hens are a sore subject.

After the circuit court ruled Cassell could keep the job in 2012, the prosecutor appealed the decision. 

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the appeal.

"I was hurt obviously because it's my dad but, like I said, there's rules you gotta follow so you just have to keep your chin up and move on," Cody Cassell said.

Kenny Cassell declined an on camera interview but did tell Channel 7 he has been shocked by the whole ordeal, and never thought the incident would come back up. 

He added it's a reminder that everyone is accountable for their actions.

"It's upsetting that it has to follow you around but that's life, I guess," Cody Cassell said. He added the community is upset and wants to see the right person fill the job. Cody, a county probation officer, is throwing his name in the hat as a candidate for sheriff.

Six others have declared their intention to be considered: Jasper W. Treece, Paul Ray Jones, Paul A. Toby Long, V.L. Red McElroy, Donald Ragland and Eddie Whitmire.

The Searcy County Quorum Court will appoint the next sheriff from the applicants. They are set to meet Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

 

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