LITTLE ROCK — A Monticello man who was found ineligible to run for a vacant Arkansas House seat filed notice Friday that he is appealing that decision.
Republican Jim A. Hall was seeking the the seat previously held by Democrat Sheilla Lampkin of Monticello, who died July 23 of ovarian cancer, when Drew County Circuit Judge David Laser ruled Sept. 12 that Hall was not eligible to seek the office because of a misdemeanor hot-check conviction from April.
Laser issued the ruling in a lawsuit filed by former Democratic state Rep. Johnnie Bolin of Crossett. In a hearing Friday, the judge declined to reverse his ruling.
Hall filed notice Friday that he is appealing the case to the state Supreme Court. He maintains that Laser should not have found him ineligible because his hot-check case has been sealed.
Laser relied in his ruling on Article 5, Section 9 of the Arkansas Constitution, which states that “No person hereafter convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or other infamous crime shall be eligible to the General Assembly or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this state.”
LeAnne Burch of Monticello, a retired brigadier general in the Army Reserves and an attorney for the state Department of Human Services, is the Democratic nominee for the seat and is currently unopposed.