AG Says Northeast Arkansas Judge Has No Authority to Name Clerks for Five Cities

OCTOBER 27, 2005 - Posted at 8:18 a.m. CDT

HARRISBURG, AR - The attorney general's office says Poinsett County District Judge Steve Inboden has no authority to name a district court clerk for each of the county's five cities.  Inboden has been traveling to each of the cities in turn...Harrisburg, Lepanto, Marked Tree, Trumann and Tyronza, to hold court, and apparently wanted to name a clerk for each of the "departments" or cities.

The opinion released yesterday by the office of Attorney General Mike Beebe said Inboden has discretion to travel to the five different departments.  But it said he did not have the authority to appoint a clerk in each department or city.

The opinion was sought by State Representative Wayne Nichols of Marked Tree after the county and cities could not reach agreement this summer on which government unit would pay what portion of the costs of the county's district court.  Other parts of the opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Elisabeth Walker, dealt at length with apportioning responsibility for payment of Inboden's salary and fringe benefits.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)