Candidate Pleads Guilty in “Love Child” Hoax; Names Others
H. Allen Smith, one of 5 Republican county sheriff candidates, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to part of the “love child” hoax aimed at fellow candidate Andy Shock during the May 2012 primary.
According to Assistant US Attorney Pat Harris, Smith admitted to meeting regularly in early 2012 before the May primary with Stephan Hawks (then county attorney) and Jeff Johnston (then county administrator under former County Judge Preston Scroggin) to discuss the sheriff’s race — and at one meeting, after Hawks had the idea, they discussed what could happen politically to Shock’s campaign if a fake birth certificate for an illegitimate black child became public.
Per Harris, Smith said the others were not involved and he acted on his own, prepared fake documents showing Shock fathered a fake child, and then from Hooks, Texas mailed the documents to about 20 area Republicans.
The hoax quickly became public; Andy Shock handily won the sheriff’s primary and was elected in November, 2012.
Smith, a private investigator of 20+ years from Greenbrier, pleaded guilty today in an information, waiving indictment and rights to future appeals.
He faces a maximum 15 years and a fine up to $250,000 for a charge of knowingly transferring a false information document; sentencing happens in about three months.
Around the time of the May 2012 primary, Stephan Hawks spent three months away on paid “personal leave” that became a point of contention between the Quorum Court and then County Judge Scroggin.
When Hawks returned to Conway, he resigned as county attorney and left the state, saying he was “surrounded by evil doers who have no regard for anyone except those that support their corruption.”
Jeff Johnston still works as county administrator under current County Judge Allan Dodson.