The Pine Bluff Commercial reports that a special prosecutor will be appointed to review the State Police investigation of Jefferson County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson, who’s unopposed for re-election next week.
Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter asked for another prosecutor because of a working relationship with the clerk’s office.
The nature of the investigation hasn’t been revealed, but the office is a steady source of controversy. The clerk, for example, accepted election filings from people seeking to oust current city office holders though those offices weren’t on the ballot this year. The office also rejected a candidate for sheriff’s petitions, but he later was placed on the ballot following objections and a review. She’s also been accused of allowing use of the office fax by the local Democratic Party chair.