by Max Brantley
Siding/window magnate Kim Hanke, familiar from his TV commercials, has pleaded to a misdemeanor count of tampering with the key witness in a criminal case against his son in Saline County and has resigned as a justice of the peace as part of a plea deal. He's a Republican and is not a candidate for re-election this year.
Release from the Saline prosecutor:
Kim Hanke pled guilty today to one count of Tampering, a Class A Misdemeanor, before Saline County District Court Judge Mike Robinson. He was sentenced to one year of supervised probation, a $1,000.00 fine, and, under the terms of his plea agreement, resigned from his position as a Saline County Justice of the Peace.
The charge of Tampering against Hanke was filed by the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a result of an investigation by the Arkansas State Police and the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed Hanke’s involvement in a case against his son, Josh Hanke. Josh Hanke was recently sentenced to a fifteen year prison term for sexual assault and kidnapping. Investigators found that while the case against his son was pending, Kim Hanke knowingly assisted Josh Hanke in violating an Order of Protection and a separate no contact order issued in the criminal case.
Kim Hanke admitted that he made contact with the victim in the case against his son, and that he facilitated contact between Josh Hanke and the victim by engaging in three way calls with the jail. Hanke admitted that he had numerous other contacts with the victim in an effort to influence her testimony.
Before his plea, Hanke a signed letter addressed to County Judge Lanny Fite that included his resignation from the Quorum Court.