- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

OSCEOLA, Ark. (AP) - The city of Osceola has retained former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to look into the actions of Mississippi County over the city possibly losing its historic courthouse.

County Judge Randy Carney and several quorum court members are leading an effort to consolidate the county’s two courthouses, located in Blytheville and Osceola, into one larger courthouse in Blytheville. The county has purchased land for around $150,000 that’s intended for a new courthouse, and it also has hired an architectural firm to begin drafting plans.

State law mandates the consolidation or move of a county seat be approved by county residents.

McDaniel, who now practices law privately, said the county has spent too much money and resources on a project that hasn’t even been approved. He said his biggest concern is that the county didn’t conduct business related to a new courthouse in public.

“The City of Osceola is shocked to see how much money has been spent and progress has been made in this effort without the inclusion of the taxpaying public,” McDaniel said. “The people are tired of elected officials deciding what’s best for them and spending their money when they have a lawful right to have their voices heard.”

Messages seeking comment from Carney were left by The Jonesboro Sun (https://bit.ly/1UnFfcT ).

County officials have said that the old courthouses are now too expensive to maintain. Osceola offered $250,000 to the quorum court for repairs at the courthouse in the city, but the court turned down the money last month.

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Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, https://www.jonesborosun.com


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