|JUDGE PIERCE SAID RUTLEDGE MADE INCORRECT DECISION|
In an unexpected turn of events for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Mackie Pierce found that she made an incorrect decision when she recommended that the Arkansas State Police not release an investigative file from August 2000 on Boyce Hamlet, a trooper recruit at the time. Hamlet was the subject of an internal investigation that led to his dismissal from employment with the Arkansas State Police. The investigation centered on allegations of cheating on an examination and multiple admitted incidents of lying to internal investigators.
Hamlet currently holds the position of Enforcement Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control, a division of the Department of Finance and Administration, which is a political appointment.
Evidence was introduced in the case that Hamlet had carried out a 15 year scheme to hide his Arkansas State Police employment and termination. Hamlet obtained jobs in law enforcement that he might not have otherwise obtained had he been honest and truthful and disclosed the information.
Documents filed with the court included an application for employment with the 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney in which Hamlet provided false and misleading information about a job with the Department of Community Correction that listed he worked at that agency during the time that he was hired and fired by the Arkansas State Police. Hamlet also provided forms under penalty of perjury to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training that omitted his employment and firing by the Arkansas State Police in violation of state laws (see previous post for complete details). Hamlet's pattern of dishonesty and lack of credibility and integrity place agencies that employ him at risk as he is a Brady officer under holding of Brady vs. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
The judge found the case presented by Assistant Attorney General Colin Jorgensen troubling and awkward.
|ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL COLIN JORGENSEN|
Judge Pierce sided with the factual and well presented case of the non-attorney, self represented Plaintiff, and ruled that a compelling public interest in disclosure was present in that the records sought reflected a breach of trust or illegal conduct by a public employee, in this case a potential police officer. Judge Pierce found that the nature of the problem that led to Hamlet's termination had bearing on the compelling public interest and the existence of public controversy led him to conclude that the test had been met.
The state police believed the file was releasable under the FOI Act and had intended to release it. However, Hamlet got assistance from Rutledge and she issued an opinion that the file should not be released.
Judge Pierce pointed out that Hamlet now heads up a powerful state law enforcement agency and his prior conduct and continued lack of honesty and credibility greatly impacted the ability of that agency to effectively carry out its statuary responsibilities. He ordered the State Police to turn over the complete file once the name of another trooper recruit that was accused of wrongdoing along with Hamlet was redacted from the material. Judge Pierce stated that the record did not reflect if the other individual was subsequently found to have committed an offense or was cleared and that his name should be redacted based on that fact.
A reasonable person would expect that Hamlet would simply resign and slink away to obscurity and seek employment in a profession other that law enforcement, especially before Governor Hutchinson demands his resignation or fires him.
Honestly, we believe that Hamlet is a pathetically flawed individual that has lived a lie so long he would have a breakdown if he was forced to face reality. We actually feel sorry for him and urge him to man up, take responsibility for his actions, confess his wrong doings, apologize and disappear.