Two Sharp County residents say not so fast to the wet/ dry issue of Sharp County being on the ballot for the November elections.
Morris Street and Yoda Shaw have both hired attorneys and contested the petitions.
Judge Harold Irwin filed a temporary injunction Sept. 8. Street's attorney, David Ethridge of Mountain Home, and Shaw's attorney, Blair Arnold of Batesville, filed suits on the grounds that the petitions entered are questionable.
The lawsuits claim the petitions have discrepancies and have been altered. Before this issue is resolved a judge has to hear both cases in a formal hearing and make a ruling.
"There were about nine things we found questionable in the petition," Street said. He then referred further questions to his attorney.
"We just felt like there are some procedural discrepancies in the petition's form and the way they were gathered," Johnnie Copeland of Ethridge Law firm said. "For example, someone marked out names on the petition before it was handed in, which is, in fact the clerk's job. The petitions were notarized which makes us question the validity of the notary and their signature and whether changes were made to the petition after it had been notarized."
Copeland said that all of the things they found questionable on the petitions were stated in the suits filed. As of Sept. 9 no hearing date had been set. Copeland said that all involved should be receiving the petition within the next couple of days and have an alloted amount of time to reply to it, after doing so the judge will set a hearing date.
Stu Freigy, expressed his disappointment with the temporary injunction saying the decision should be left up to the voters. Freigy made it clear that this is not over and there is still a chance to get the issue on the ballot. Freigy said as far as he knows Larry Kissee, the Sharp County attorney has made a motion to dismiss the injunction along with R.T. Starkin the attorney for SERT (Save Energy Reap Taxes).
Freigy said over 4,500 people said they would like the opportunity to bring this to a vote by signing the petitions and now two people are trying to take that away from the county. "We are not going to quit without a fight. We worked hard in the last year to make this happen and we have not given up yet," Freigy said.
The Sharp County Clerks office reported Sept. 15 that Judge Phillip Smith accepted the case. A formal hearing will be held Sept. 22 to decide whether the injunction will be lifted or the issue taken off the ballots.