Senator: Springdale Police Chief Should Be Fired Over Child Sex-Crime Report

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – A state senator from Northwest Arkansas is calling for the Springdale police chief to be fired over the recent release of a 2006 police report detailing accusations that Josh Duggar as a teenager molested five underage girls.

Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, said the girls have been re-victimized now that the report is public. He said Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley acted recklessly in releasing the report and should be held accountable.

“The law to protect minors’ identities is not a suggestion,” Hester, pictured, said Saturday (May 23). “So sad to see the person charged with protecting the community being so reckless and irresponsible. I believe it is unavoidable that the Springdale police chief should be terminated. She has re-victimized these young ladies.”

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said O’Kelley and Springdale City Attorney Ernest Cate determined after researching the matter that the report had to be released under law.

“From every indication I have the chief and city attorney reluctantly did what they had to do to comply with the state FOI (freedom of information) law,” Sprouse said Saturday (May 23).

The Springdale police report was obtained by In Touch Weekly magazine and posted on the magazine’s website this week. The names are redacted in the report. On May 21, Washington County Juvenile Judge Stacey Zimmerman issued a court order that the police report be destroyed and expunged from the public record.

Duggar, who has appeared with his family in the TV reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” resigned from the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council after the magazine’s story was released. The TLC cable and satellite network has since pulled the show from its television scheduling.

Duggar also issued a statement on the family’s Facebook page, saying, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”

O’Kelley has previously announced she is retiring as police chief on June 30.

Hester questioned whether all child sex-crime victims in Springdale should be worried that their identities might now become public.

“Should they be concerned that Chief O’Kelley is going to release their information?” he asked.

Hester said the city faces potential legal issues over the matter.

“The city of Springdale’s liability seems endless on this,” he said. “I certainly anticipate criminal charges against Chief O’Kelley.”

The Springdale Police Department public information officer could not be immediately reached on Saturday morning (May 23) for comment.

 

 

 

48 comments

  • Ann Parmenter

    the public has a right to know. the names of the victoms was not given, the bigest crime here was hiding what had happened when it did.and still trying to cover it up. if it was me or my neighbor or the kid down the street. it would have been all over the news.just because his family and friends are in goverment is not a reason to bury this. you are no better than we are.

    • Dawn (@dawnyt1965)

      Ann, the public had no right what so ever to know. He was a minor when these things occurred. Why this wasn’t expunged when he turned 18 is beyond me. If he did these things as an adult, I’d say you have a right to know, but anything regarding a minor child is none of anyone’s business.

      • Jennifer Vallely Watts

        If someone was charged as a minor with theft, I can see it is no one’s business. But when you are a child molester as a teenager, sorry you are deviant and cannot be cured, so the public has a right to know about this. Josh Duggar is sick in the head as well as his wife for conceiving children with a deviant.

      • Mario Man

        first, i am sorry for the girls. they have to relive the past together with the entire planet. so now everyone knows, and everyone has his opinion on this, and everyone is voicing their known knowns and unknowns on to the internet. it might have been better for the girls if it never got out… but reality is the exact opposite of a faith based ReaLiTy TV show (as in: do you really belive the people are not acting diferently when they are behind the camera). the big problem here is that it is not just a family problem. the boy didn´t stop at his sisters. he crosed the borders and went on with someone from another family. so it quite is a public matter. and then there are jim bobs counseling friends. the cop who is in jail for child porn and the founder of the Institute of Basic Life Principles Bill Got-hard who was a sexual predator himself. these are his most thrustworthy friends? i wonder how deep it goes. remember that jim bob was a cop and lawmaker. how many more could there be in his vicinity. judges who destroy records, cops who protect eachother, ministers who work the minds, lawmakers who shape the laws. this, right here is about more than the past victims. it´s about present victims and future victims. and that´s why it must be out there for the whole world to see and judge. god is not coming down to do the right thing, but every single human beeing who is right in the head knows that this here is wrong and so everyone has the sole purpose to judge and take apropiate measures so that it will never happen again. the internet does not forget or forgive.

    • suzierings

      No the public had no right to know what sealed protected records say! This is a crime against every child in the
      U.S. If we cannot protect our children, what good are we

  • Libby Young

    Should be given a raise! Should have a contract for the next 20 years and a metal. Great job chief!!!!! His own sisters, gee. Needs to be marked as Cain.

    • suzierings

      Child hater. There is no excuse for breaking the law on any side of the fence you sit. It is not legal to rease children’s records, that are protected. No freedom of information act for kids, period

      • Grant Armbruster

        I live in a very democratic state in a very democratic town that just elected a Republican Sheriff. I wonder how those on the left were to have their children’s police records from when they were minors unsealed in this manner. I mean this is what they left seems to want. This is what they are praising.

    • Lilly Brooks

      Should the children who were molested let it rest; are they sound? You’re right, as long as the molester and his parents are satisfied alls well? Wow.

      • suzierings

        Read and then comment. A child touching is not the same as an adult. No comparison. So, the ” victims” of a child touching in studies show no long term effects.

  • Dawn (@dawnyt1965)

    He was a minor when this happened. So we’re the victims. This should have been expunged a long time ago, and the police chief who released the report needs to be fired. What he did as a minor is no ones business. If he did something as an adult, then yes it should be made public. The public absolutely had no right to know about anything related to a minor child. Learn the laws people. It’s none of your business!!!

      • Heather Walden

        But the parents of the child predator isn’t? They hid his crime and got help from the police officer to not file it.. for 16 months the parents hid it before even telling him

        The police officer that didn’t file the crime of Josh Duggar is in prison now for child pornography. But I guess, the crimes of this family is less important than the crimes against the victims and other victims in this country.

  • Robin Eublind (@iamrobineublind)

    Chief O’Kelley announced her retirement this first week of May. Hester should concern himself with the miscarriage of justice and the cover-up of serial sexual abuse in 2002. The Duggar’s idea of counseling was to have the perpetrator mentored by an Arkansas state trooper & family friend, who shortly thereafter began his decades long sentence for child pornography. Chief O’Kelley was following the law in her release of these documents. Her predecessor and the police department in 2002 ignored the law in deference to an influential family. If Hester wishes to create something positive from this crime and travesty of justice, he would introduce legislation to lengthen the statute of limitations for sexual abuse from the current three years. Child protective services would also do well to look into Jim Bob & Michelle’s household and that of Josh Duggar’s.

    • suzierings

      He did not ” follow the law” children’s protected sealed records are not part of the freedom of information act. Never should have been released.

      • Robin Eublind (@iamrobineublind)

        The Chief is a she, and she followed the law regarding FOIA requests. Identities were redacted per juvenile and victims’ rights laws. Disclosure of identities did not come from the documents or the Chief, but primarily from the victim’s and molester’s family itself.

      • suzierings

        She did not remove Josh’s name and HE was the child also. All children are protected, whether or not you like their adult selves. Children do things wrong and their files are sealed and protected to prevent just what happened. We do not penalize children for the rest of their lives for child errors.

  • suzierings

    He should be fired. If anyone does not see a child’s sealed protected records being released as a crime , your a hater of children. There should be no tolerance for crimes against children

    • Robin Eublind (@iamrobineublind)

      There was plenty of tolerance in 2002 and 2006 from the Springdale police department in helping ol Jim Bob cover up the serial sexual abuse by his son Josh. Just keep it buried for a short three years, have a long running TV show, make bank, and preach all about how the LGBT mafia will sexually abuse children. When your crimes finally come to light, 3 year statute of limitations is up, and a judge appointed by Gov Huckabee orders your case file destroyed. Repent, maybe cry on Dr. Phil, then get healed, born again. Pass go, collect $200. Is this a great country or what?!

    • Johanna Kemp

      Have you read the article? It clearly states that SHE, the officer concerned, reluctantly complied with the law. As you keep refering to the chief as ‘he’ and calling her a criminal it would appear not.

  • Peters Jack

    @Suziering needs some help. This woman is making excuses about the difference of 14 year old and adult molesting 5 girls. You are sick to protect them. You just make me dislike the family more. I used to like them but now they make me sick that they covered this up with the help of the pedophile cop who is in jailed for 40 years.

  • Johanna Kemp

    Did the people commenting who are calling for this woman to lose her job actually read the full article or just the headline? It clearly states in the article that the chief had NO choice under the State’s Freedom of Information Act. She was actually obeying the law so blame is being directed at the wrong person; blame the lawmakers not the enforcers.

  • Heather Walden

    Right… and the parents the covered up a crime of sexual assault against children for 16 months, and the child that shold have gone through the juvenile system but didn’t because a cop covered up and didn’t file the report.. shouldn’t?

    Duggars broke multiple laws, Police Chief broke none, he followed law

  • Elmer Gantry

    Hester the Protester —The 19 Kids & Touching Arkansas GOP Political Cover-Up Continues:

    “Police report reveals that Jim Bob and Michelle knew that their Josh molested five females in their sleep, ‘touching their breasts and genitals’ in 2002-03”

    “James Robert “Jim Bob” Duggar (born July 18, 1965) is an American real estate agent, politician, and television personality on the reality series 19 Kids and Counting. He is a former state legislator who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002.”

    “…From 1999 to 2002, Duggar served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for the sixth district, which included part of northern Washington County, Arkansas. Duggar was vice chair of the House Corrections and Criminal Law Subcommittee and also participated in the Insurance and Commerce Committee and Judiciary Committee.

    He also ran in the Republican Party of Arkansas primary election for the United States Senate in 2002, but lost to incumbent Senator Tim Hutchinson by a vote of 71,576 to 20,546. Duggar sought the Republican nomination to the Arkansas State Senate District 35 seat in 2006, but lost to candidate Bill Pritchard by 200 votes. He is a licensedrealtor, and owns several commercial properties in his local area as an investor.

  • Joan Maglitto

    I Believe Mr Hester needs to look into the Freedom of Information Act. When their friend the cop swept things under the rug for them I believe that is what made this available for the FIOA. I doubt very seriously if the Police Chief or the City Attorney would release the girls names. I think Mr Hester along with a couple of other politicians should keep their nose out of the cover up.

  • juli333

    I have to ask if Josh Dugger was any other child molester would conservatives still be jumping through hoops to cover for him?

  • Holly McGaugh (@hemcgaugh)

    This file should never have been released. Though the names were not listed it didn’t take the media long to get those names in the public. The Police Chief needs to be fired. A juvenile case is supposed to be sealed and the law says it is not under the Freedom of Information Act. (To protect the victims.) You think Springdale would have a smarter Police Chief than one that would open a juvenile case to “In Touch Magazine”. Now all the victims will not come forward because police chiefs just hand out information to forward their agenda without considering there is actual people affected!

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