Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell has been removed from office over a 1979 federal misdemeanor theft conviction involving Cornish hens stolen from a Tyson’s poultry truck during an interstate shipment.
As we reported on May 23, the Arkansas Supreme Court had ruled that the conviction made Cassell ineligible to hold office. Justice Cliff Hoofman, writing for the court, said “…a crime that involves dishonesty or deceit constitutes an ‘infamous crime’ under the Arkansas Constitution, which bars the offender from holding public office. … An ‘infamous crime’ by its nature impugns the integrity of the office and directly impacts the person’s ability to serve as an elected official.”
Dewayne Pierce, who had served as Cassell’s chief deputy, will serve as acting Sheriff until the Searcy County Quorum Court can make an appointment from a pool of six applicants who have expressed a willingness to serve.