- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

SHERIDAN, Ark. (AP) - A sheriff in Arkansas is resigning over his ineligibility to hold office after a hunting violation four years ago, but he will be re-elected to the position in November.

Grant County Sheriff Ray Vance announced Friday that he would resign Monday because of his 2010 hunting violation in Kansas, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1lafEa2 ). But because the charge has been expunged and he is running unopposed, Vance will be re-elected in November and return to the office in January.

Vance entered a no-contest plea on Nov. 3, 2010, to one count of false representation to secure a lifetime Kansas hunting license. In February, a special prosecutor filed a petition to remove Vance from office because he said the misdemeanor crime rose to the level of an “infamous crime,” which includes an offense involving the elements of deceit or dishonesty.

That same month, the District Court of Jewell County, Kansas, expunged Vance’s record. But Vance’s record was not cleared when he twice ran for sheriff, and a hearing had been scheduled for Monday in the civil case to seek his removal for the remainder of his term, which ends Dec. 31.

“The defendant was not eligible to run for the office he currently holds, in accordance with the Constitution of the State of Arkansas. … To allow the defendant to continue in an office he did not have the right to hold at the time, after the defendant takes the legal steps to restore his eligibility to run for the office, would be a mockery of our laws, and our Constitution, the very things that law enforcement officers as well as county and state officials swear an oath to uphold,” the court filing said.

Special prosecutor Jack McQuary said in the court filing that Vance, 60, should be eligible to take office in January because his record is cleared and it will be a new term.

Grant County Judge Kemp Nall said the quorum court will declare the sheriff’s position vacant at its Monday meeting and find a replacement to serve out the remainder of Vance’s term.

Vance could not be reached for comment, but wrote in a letter to Nall that his decision to resign came after “extensive thought, prayer and consideration regarding the citizens of Grant County, my family and the future.”

Vance’s lawyer had no comment.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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