Crosses return to county assessor's office

Crosses return to county assessor's office

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Crosses are back up at the Craighead County Assessor's Office and one group is not happy.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to County Assessor Hannah Towell in November stating that displaying religious symbol was a violation of the constitution.

The assessor's office removed the crosses after receiving the letter. Less than a month later, they are back up on the walls.

This time the county quorum court is showing their support for Towell's decision to keep the crosses. The court passed a resolution stating the support.

"It passed unanimously to support her right to privately present her beliefs," County Judge Ed Hill said.

Towell said the court's support was a pleasant surprise for her and her office.

After the resolution was passed, the Wisconsin-based group sent a second letter saying the crosses and Bible verses need to be removed again.

Region 8 News spoke with some people who support Towell and her office along with the court.

"Things are going to be offensive to someone and something else is going to be offensive to somebody else," Paige Price said. "So, I don't have a problem with them and I don't think they should be taken down."

Price said she understands Freedom from Religion Foundation supporters have a right to express their opinions, but so do county officials.

"They want to have a voice and make their opinions known and obviously we are making a statement here by keeping them up so I think it is a good thing," Price said.

County Judge Ed Hill said the question of whether the display is private or in the public eye may come up later, but for now, the resolution states the court supports Towell's right to express her beliefs.

Towell told Region 8 News she cannot comment much on the issues because she is seeking legal counsel on what her office can and cannot legally display.

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