The Little Rock police today located the police report filed Tuesday by Shawn Camp, assistant director of elections in Pulaski County, against Evelyn Gomez, the Republican chair of the County Election Commission.
A search yesterday was fruitless, apparently because Camp’s name was misspelled as Cump.
Camp blocked Gomez’s entrance to the commission’s main office election day Nov. 3 because he believed it was still covered by a county judge order closing public offices during the pandemic. The rule was to be lifted Nov. 3-13 because of the expectation of heavy traffic from election workers.
As she admitted during an election commission meeting Friday, Gomez shoved him out of the way. Camp’s complaint was taken as well to the prosecuting attorney’s office for review. My legal opinion is that it’s short of meeting the legal standard for misdemeanor assault or battery, but Camp and others have said his situation is complicated by the fact that he’s an election worker. He contends Gomez’s actions interfered with his ability to do his job.
Gomez and the Republican Party wanted him removed from election work (he’d reportedly told an election worker not to talk to the Republican commissioners, who haven’t completed election training courses), but a compromise was reached preventing him from working with ballots that have been opened.
Gomez is a dictatorial sort who’s long feuded with the election staff, which works for Democratic County Judge Barry Hyde. She tried to prevent election Director Bryan Poe from asking legal advice from the county attorney and also ordered a “hault” to absentee vote-counting — in contravention of a vote by the election commission Monday, 23 hours earlier — without a vote of the three-member election commission, which includes another Republican, Kristi Stahr, and a Democrat, Joshua Price. She also attempted to call an emergency meeting of the commission without Price and, initially, without the two-hour public notice required by law.
Gomez, who likes to style herself as “judge” in her state job as a hearing officer for probationers and who complained about an absence of a gavel to wield during commission meetings (she frequently cuts off Poe comments), has offered only an admission of what she did and no regrets for laying hands on an election worker. Assault or not, it’s not an acceptable practice in most workplaces.