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New sheriff picked in Searcy County

The Searcy County Quorum Court has picked a new sheriff.

The action came after the Arkansas Supreme Court found that Sheriff Kenny Cassell was ineligible to serve because of a 30-year-old misdemeanor.

The justices of the peace voted 8-1 to appoint Donald Ragland as acting sheriff and collector. He will serve through Dec. 31, 2014 and cannot run for re-election, according to The Harrison Daily Times. Ragland is a retired Arkansas Game and Fish officer.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last month that Cassell was ineligible to serve because of a 30-year-old misdemeanor conviction for possessing stolen Cornish hens.

In August 2012, a judge ruled that Cassell could keep his job. The judge said the 1979 conviction, a misdeameanor, wasn’t enough to be considered an infamous crime and warrant being removed from office. The judge also said there are no facts that proved the conviction would impede his ability to serve office.

Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland appealed that ruling.

The Van Buren County Democrat website is available only to print and digital subscribers. If you are already a subscriber, you can access the website at no additional charge.