Prosecutors want a judge to consider keeping the Hot Springs County sheriff in jail or under tighter restrictions until his trial on an obstruction charge connected to allegations of illegal drug use and intimidation.
Scott Finkbeiner is free and back to work as sheriff, despite conditions on his bond that would seem to make the job tough to impossible. He’s not allowed access to any firearms pending his trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Achorn is asking the U.S. District Court in Fort Smith to hold a detention hearing to consider whether it makes sense to put Finkbeiner back behind bars.
Federal agents recently arrested Finkbeiner on obstruction of justice allegations and accused him of being involved in illegal drugs, coerced sex and intimidation of a confidential informant. Even so, he was released on $5,000 unsecured bond with certain conditions, such as not using illegal drugs.
Achorn argued against Magistrate Mark Ford‘s decision not to grant the government a detention hearing.
As sheriff, Finkbeiner has access to an evidence room that presumably contains controlled substances, prosecutors noted. And Finkbeiner has access to information about witnesses that could be called in his own trial, and can monitor law enforcement activity.
The prosecution also said Finkbeiner had tried to “spook” another elected official into not informing law enforcement of his “illicit activities.”