by Max Brantley
Harold Allen Smith, 47, of Greenbrier, pleaded guilty to transferring a false birth certificate via the United States mail. Authorities say it was part of a political dirty trick when he ran for Faulkner County sheriff in the 2012 Republican primary.
The U.S. attorney's office said:
During February and March, 2012, Smith had meetings with people to discuss the election and how to prevent another Republican candidate, Andy Shock, from winning the primary. Some of the people who met with Smith had suggestions including that Smith drop out of the race to run an anti-Shock campaign, and that it would be funny if a birth certificate surfaced showing that Shock was the father of an illegitimate black child. As a result, Smith, with the help of another person, created false Texas birth certificates showing that Shock was the father of an illegitimate black child.
On March 28, 2012, Smith and another person drove to Hooks, Texas where Smith mailed approximately 12 envelopes containing a note and a false Texas birth certificate to residents in Faulkner County, Arkansas, who it was believed would vote in the Republican primary.
In spite of the efforts of Smith, Andy Shock won the Republican primary and in November, 2012, won the general election for sheriff of Faulkner County.
The sentencing date will be set by the Court at a later date. Smith faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00 when he is sentenced.