Election Mess: Convicted Felon Selected For AR Election Post

Election Mess: Convicted Felon Selected For AR Election Post

A convicted drug dealer with a new job, he's now in charge with helping run elections in Crittenden County.
WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - A convicted drug dealer with a new job, he's now in charge with helping run elections in Crittenden County.

"Politics as usual in Crittenden County, what else can you make of it," said Daniel Hatchett, who up until last week served on the Crittenden County Democratic Committee.

Last week, Reginald Abram was selected to replace Hatchett.

In 2004, Abram was arrested and charged with smuggling drugs into the Crittenden County Jail while he served as Jail Administrator. In 2005, he was convicted on two counts, and served time in federal prison.

"This is the type of person we want representing the citizens of Crittenden County?" Hatchett asked on Tuesday night.

"Those people who say I'm disgruntled are just being silly, what's there to be disgruntled about? Right is right, fair is fair," he said. "What they are doing isn't right, nor is it fair."

According to Arkansas law, a convicted felon can't serve as an election commissioner.

"If this is true, then I will introduce measures on the court to withhold all funding and look at other measures the court may be able to take," said Hubert Bass, a Crittenden County Quorum Court Justice. "It's a mess, and it has just been complicated."

"The court should have responsibility to withhold all funding and maybe take some other measures within the law to make sure the election commission dismisses Mr. Abram," he said.

Newly elected Commission Chairman James Pulliam was out of town on Tuesday evening, and said he wasn't aware of Abram's record. Pulliam said he was gathering more information.

"This is the most corrupt, most corrupt system there is," Hatchett said. "To say it is corrupt is an understatement."

"Is it corrupt, absolutely, you can quote me on that," he said.

Abram didn't return a phone call or text for comment.
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