Washington County Judge After Bridge Controversy: “I Have No Intentions Of Resigning”

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- A member of the Washington County Quorum Court wants County Judge Marilyn Edwards to step down.

Justice of the Peace Tom Lundstrum said he has concerns about Judge Edwards’ ability to lead. He said she should consider leaving her position after the county admitted its road department strayed from the proper construction techniques when crews built the Stonewall Road Bridge near Prairie Grove and the Harvey Dowell Bridge between Fayetteville and Elkins.

Lundstrum said he was bothered by what Edwards said about the county's ability to build bridges.

"The judge had made the remark that we don't have anybody in the road department that knows how to build bridges," Lundstrum said. "[A] question [that] immediately came to my mind is 'why are we building bridges?' If we don`t have anybody that can build them, we shouldn't be building them.”

Lundstrum believes the county judge should have knowledge of road development to serve as an authority over the road department.

“I believe, because of the seriousness of the issue, Judge Edwards might consider resigning,” Lundstrum said. “I'm not sure that she is competent in running the road department.”

Edwards said resigning is not an option. In the past, Edwards served as county clerk and as a legislator. She was first sworn in as county judge in 2009 and was re-elected in November.

“I have no intentions of resigning. I have served the tax payers for 46 years,” Edwards said. “[Voters] had the confidence to reelect me, because they know I can do the job.”

Edwards calls this a case of county officials playing politics and said she wants it to come to an end by fixing the bridges as soon as possible.

“I'm staying right where I am,” Edwards said. “I am going to serve the people with the dignity and respect that I have always done. And, I will be here when my term is up in two years.”

The county tore down the partially-built Stonewall Road Bridge in March and is rebuilding it. Judge Edwards also put a new weight limit on the Harvey Dowell Bridge, which crews finished in late 2013.