- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Justices of the peace in Washington County are debating whether the county’s chief administrative officer should have hired a former justice of the peace whose husband now serves on the Quorum Court.

Sharon Lloyd is the county’s grant administrator and Roddy Lloyd is a justice of the peace who might someday vote on grants.

Concerns about possible ethical or legal violations were raised during a Finance and Budget Committee last week, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2lH0J8I ) reported.

County Judge Joseph Wood hired Sharon Lloyd as grants administrator.

“I just think there is a problem, whether it violates the law or not,” Justice of the Peace Sue Madison said.



County policy said elected officials cannot work for the county for at least a year after leaving office. Sharon Lloyd’s term expired Dec. 31, with her husband taking her spot.

County Attorney Brian Lester said hiring Sharon Lloyd does not violate state law or cause ethical problems because neither of the Lloyds personally benefit from the grants.

“I don’t understand why anyone would think there is an issue about whether or not Roddy Lloyd votes to approve accepting a grant,” Lester said. “Typically, the elected officials are always happy about grants.”

Lester also said county policy does not apply to Sharon Lloyd in terms of elected officials being barred from rehire for one year, because she was appointed and not elected to the Quorum Court. Former County Attorney George Butler said the handbook needs clarification as to whether the term “elected officials” means countywide or includes justices of the peace.

Justices of the peace are expecting to review and potentially change the Employee Handbook, which was last revised in 2014.

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

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