Pine Bluff newspaper calls for county judge's resignation over bribery allegation | Arkansas Blog

Pine Bluff newspaper calls for county judge's resignation over bribery allegation


REV. HENRY WILKINS: In his church last year. - KARK/FOX 16
  • KARK/Fox 16
  • REV. HENRY WILKINS: In his church last year.

The Pine Bluff Commercial called in an editorial today for Henry Wilkins to resign as Jefferson County judge over the revelation Friday that he'd told the FBI he'd taken $100,000 in bribes from lobbyist and health copany executive Rusty Cranford when he was a state legislator.

Wilkins has not been charged, but his statement was mentioned in a bond hearing for Cranford, who faces political corruption and embezzlement-related charges. A U.S. attorney said Cranford had been trying to get people like Wilkins to lie about their dealings with him.

Wilkins, who retired last year as a Methodist pastor, has not commented. He has a Monday Quorum Court meeting at which the subject seems likely to come up, according to reporting today in the Commercial.

The editorial writer has heard enough.
Judge Wilkins, please step down

Shocked. Hurt. Disappointed. Angry. Disturbed.

Pick any of those words. They represent how we and many others feel today after hearing that our county judge, Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV, has admitted to taking $100,000 in bribes during his time in the Arkansas Legislature.

Of all the things we need in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County right now, another black eye certainly isn’t anywhere on the list.

....We are not here to cast judgment on Wilkins. But we certainly know right from wrong. Since this isn’t a case of innocent until proven guilty — he admitted the wrongdoing — we feel like the judge has no other option than to immediately step down from his post.

...We can’t imagine the looks on prospective business investors’ faces when they come to town and find out that there is a politician who has admitted corruption running our county.

...Judge Wilkins, we are ashamed of you. We put our trust in you to do the right thing for us while you were in the Legislature. Further, in your role as a pastor, you took money borne out of sin and funneled it into a house of God.
There's more, but you get the drift.

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