Scott Finkbeiner

The indicted Hot Spring County sheriff agreed to relinquish all duties of his office except for payroll matters, a prosecutor has told a federal judge. If the judge accepts the agreement, the need for a detention hearing would be moot, the prosecutor said.

Otherwise, Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner, whose office is based in Malvern, is scheduled for a Dec. 18 hearing to decide whether he should be jailed until his Jan. 22 trial for alleged obstruction of justice and drug-related crimes.

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In a motion filed in U.S. District Court’s Hot Springs division Thursday, though, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Achorn asked that Finkbeiner’s currently standard conditions of release be expanded to include his giving up almost all of his duties as sheriff while awaiting trial.

Under the proposal, Finkbeiner could no longer terminate or change the job status of any sheriff’s department employee. He also could not enter the sheriff’s office, and he would no longer have access to law-enforcement records, a crime database and police communications.

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“In the event the Court finds these additional conditions appropriate and subsequently imposes same, then the necessity to conduct a detention hearing at this time would be rendered moot,” Achorn wrote.

Finkbeiner, a Republican, is accused of witness intimidation and smoking meth, which he allegedly offered to an undercover informant. Charges against him are obstruction or justice, deliberate concealment of a drug distribution crime and deliberate concealment of the maintenance of a drug-involved premises.

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