Hot Spring County, Arkansas, Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner has temporarily relinquished his law enforcement duties as he awaits trial for allegedly obstructing an FBI investigation. Initially slated for a pre-trial jail determination on December 18, this step follows the imposition of a protective order restricting his activities.
Finkbeiner’s legal troubles began with his November 2 arraignment, where he was released on a $5,000 bond despite prosecution’s request for his detention. The prosecution later appealed this decision, asserting that Finkbeiner misused his position to meddle in the obstruction case against him, including tampering with witnesses and exploiting restricted law enforcement databases.
The protective order, signed on December 11, specifically bars Finkbeiner from performing any sheriff duties, barring payroll-related tasks. It also prohibits him from accessing law enforcement databases and entering the sheriff’s office.
This order also outlines strict guidelines regarding the handling of prosecution information during discovery. It mandates that such information is used solely for trial preparation, prohibits copying, and requires its return or destruction post-trial. This includes sensitive details about witnesses and other involved individuals.
Following the November hearing, the Hot Spring Quorum Court imposed additional restrictions on Finkbeiner, including a ban on using county vehicles and mandatory weekly drug testing. However, they stopped short of demanding his resignation, citing his ongoing trial.
With Finkbeiner stepping back, Chief Deputy Shane Davis continues to oversee the sheriff’s department operations. Despite the unfolding legal drama, Finkbeiner, as an elected official, can only be removed from his post if convicted.