Convicted Felon Appointed to Election Commission

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(West Memphis, AR)- With nine people recently arrested and four people recently convicted of election fraud, Crittenden County is fed up.

"We've had enough corruption in this county when it comes to election fraud we don't need anymore," Election Commissioner Daniel Hatchett said.

The frustration now is that convicted felon, Reginald Abram, was picked to replace Commissioner Hatchett. 

"Why would the people of this county want an election commissioner who was arrested for public service, bribery, and introducing 2 ounces of cocaine in a county jail," he said.

Abram was convicted in 2005 of bringing cocaine to an inmate at the Crittenden County Jail. Abram was the chief jail administrator at the time.

Hatchett said that should keep him off the board.

Arkansas law states a person convicted of "embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or other infamous crime" is not eligible to hold public office.

We tried to ask James Pulliam, the man who apparently appointed Abram to the board about his decision, but he wasn't home.

"I don't know why they would put a convicted felon on the board. They have lost their rights and privilege to vote and how could they serve with any integrity at all on the election commission," Republican Election Commissioner Dixie Carlson said.

She said the appointment gives the county a black eye.

"Everyone laughs at the election commission in Crittenden County so this is just another laugh," she said.

Carlson and Hatchett both hope someone else is chose soon because they say this is no laughing matter.
"We have over 76 members I'm sure out of the 76 we can find someone who is capable of holding this position who is not a convicted felon," Hatchett said.

Abram told News Channel 3 he is seeking legal advice about this situation.

"I was appointed. I didn't run for public office," he said.

He said he will make his decision by Friday about his future on the commission.

He added that while he is a convicted felon, he has turned his life around and is now a deacon.

He said since he finished his parole he has regained his status as a registered voter in Crittenden County.