Searcy County Sheriff Cannot Hold Public Office According to State Supreme Court

A 1979 case involving Kenney Cassell and Cornish hens has been ruled an infamous crime by the State Supreme Court, making the Sheriff ineligible for office.

LITTLE ROCK, AR- Searcy County Sheriff Kenney Cassell has been ruled ineligible to hold public office by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Thursday morning, the court ruled Cassell's misdemeanor theft conviction from 1979 makes him ineligible to hold public office under article 5, section 9 of the Arkansas Constitution, citing article 5, section 9 of the Arkansas Constitution, which states that any "infamous crime" renders an individual ineligible to hold public office.

The Supreme Court cited previous cases that defined an "infamous crime" as one that involves dishonesty or deceit, saying that Cassell was indeed dishonest and deceitful in the 1979 incident.

In October 1979, Cassell pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing Cornish hens that he knew belonged to Tyson Food.

He was sentenced to a year imprisonment, comprised of 30 days in jail, 11 months of supervised suspension and a $300 fine.

Although Cassell won a judgment in the Searcy County Circuit Court last year based on the premise that the 1979 conviction did not negatively affect his ability to serve in public office, the Supreme Court overruled that decision.

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