Henry Boyce, candidate for 3rd Judicial District prosecuting attorney, denies any prior knowledge of a media advisory faxed from the office of the chairman of the State Democratic Committee.
The anonymous advisory, faxed to media in the district June 3, stated, "Stewart Lambert will be in court on Monday, June 3, 2002, to defend himself." It also gave "background" information about Lambert's arrest in March.
Boyce faces Lambert, the incumbent prosecutor, in a runoff election June 11.
The advisory was faxed from First Arkansas Bail Bonds in Little Rock, which is owned by Ron Oliver, chairman of the state Democratic Committee.
Boyce at first denied any knowledge of the advisory, but later said, "I know that Roby Brock used a fax machine owned by Ron Oliver." He said he did not know Oliver and "knew nothing about his business."
In a press release sent late the same afternoon Boyce's paid campaign consultant, Roby Brock, took full responsibility for the advisory.
"I sent this fax from a common fax machine that I have permission to use at First Arkansas Bail Bonds," Brock said. "No other person associated with this company had any knowledge of my transmission, nor did Mr. Henry Boyce."
Oliver said he was not in the office when the fax was sent. He said Brock's office is on the floor above his, and Brock uses his fax machine on occasion. Oliver said his secretary gave Brock permission to use the fax machine June 3 but had no knowledge of what was being faxed.
Oliver denied supporting Boyce. "I'm going to support whoever wins the primary," he said.
According to Oliver it is against the party's policy to support candidates during the primary, but not against policy for individuals to support candidates. Oliver said he had met Boyce only one time, but admitted to having been acquainted with his father. The elder Boyce was Jackson County Democratic Committee chairman for a number of years.
Lambert said he intended to ask for an investigation into Oliver's involvement in the campaign. He said any involvement by Oliver would be in direct violation of party rules.
"A party official, especially the chairman, should not attempt to influence one candidate over another," Lambert said.
According to Lambert it was only after the advisory was connected to Oliver that Boyce's campaign consultant admitted to sending it and took full responsibility.
"No one was going to take credit for it until we punched the Ron Oliver button," Lambert said.
Lambert said he found it hard to believe "Brock just happened to use the committee chairman's fax machine."
"You'd have to really be able to swallow hard to swallow that story," said Lambert.
Lambert did not appear in circuit court as the advisory announced. His pretrial hearing has been rescheduled for July 17.