Aug 22, 2013
Smith Slapped on Wrist in “Love Child” Hoax
“The lowest and dirtiest political tactic in the history of Faulkner County politics” has resulted in a one-month prison term, supervised release and community service for H. Allen Smith, 47, a former Faulkner County sheriff deputy from Greenbrier. Smith, one of five Republican county sheriff candidates in the last election, pleaded guilty last April to...
“The lowest and dirtiest political tactic in the history of Faulkner County politics” has resulted in a one-month prison term, supervised release and community service for H. Allen Smith, 47, a former Faulkner County sheriff deputy from Greenbrier.
Smith, one of five Republican county sheriff candidates in the last election, pleaded guilty last April to carrying out the so-called “love child” hoax aimed at fellow candidate Andy Shock during the May 2012 primary. He was sentenced this past week in U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr.’s courtroom.
Smith had faced a maximum 15 years and a $250,000 fine for knowingly transferring a false information document; however, his total sentence only includes one month in prison, 12 months supervised release (first month will be community confinement) and 100 hours of community service. He had already given up his private investigator’s license.
Judge Marshall did not impose a fine, citing Smith’s inability to pay.
Assistant US Attorney Pat Harris said Smith met weekly before the May 2012 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.
As reported in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Smith said the group had discussed Hawks’ idea about the damage it could cause Shock’s campaign if a fake birth certificate for an illegitimate black child became public.
Per Harris, Smith said he created false birth certificates and drove to Hooks, Texas to mail them to area Republican voters after becoming angry with Shock about a campaign incident and talking to Ron Bartels.
We believe Smith’s sentence amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist. Not only did his actions put into motion a false story about our Sheriff that will never be undone, but Smith also brought race into his lies, thus making his actions even more dishonorable both to Shock and his family as well as our community.
Sure, a probation-only sentence was also a possibility and Judge Marshall said he imposed some prison time for Smith because of Smith’s premeditation and the introduction of race into the situation.
But we don’t believe Marshall’s sentence accurately reflects the long-lasting and nasty damage Smith did to our community — and we wonder about its intended effect on Smith, who said after his sentencing hearing that he was “looking forward and ready to get back to serving the people of Faulkner County.”
Serving the people, huh? Not in this county!