Hearing set for Sept. 13 in case involving appointment of Union County state's attorney
A case involving the appointment of a new Union County state’s attorney is scheduled to be back in court on Friday morning, Sept. 13.
The Union County Democratic Party has filed legal action in the matter.
On Aug. 27, the Union County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution filling a vacancy in the office of state’s attorney.
The vacancy in the office was created by the recent resignation of Tyler R. Edmonds as the county’s state’s attorney. Edmonds has been appointed to a judicial post. His successor must be a Democrat.
The resolution was approved at a regular meeting of the county board.
The resolution called for the appointment of Daniel Klingemann as Union County state’s attorney, effective Sept. 16.
Approval of the resolution was along party lines. Republican county commissioners Max Miller, David Gould and Kent Pitts approved the resolution. Democrat county commissioners Bobby Toler Jr. and Dale Foster voted no.
Klingemann formerly had worked in the Union County state’s attorney’s office.
Prior to making a motion at the Aug. 27 meeting, board of commissioners chairman Max Miller stated that Klingemann had worked in the office under Edmonds and knew the staff, judges and office system which was in place.
Miller said that the county was in need of someone who “can take control of the office immediately and no other candidate can do that.”
Klingemann, however, was not the candidate for the post who had been recommended by Union County Democratic Party chairperson Teresa Vincent. Vincent had said that legal action could be expected if the party’s recommended candidate was not appointed by the county board.
Legal action was filed later on Aug. 27 in Union County Circuit Court in Jonesboro.
The case was filed by Union County Democrats through the party’s chairperson, Teresa Vincent, with Timothy Keller and Thomas Crosby as attorneys.
The case was filed against Union County Board of Commissioners chairman Max Miller, with Union County assistant state’s attorney Lisa Casper as legal representative.
The case was a combined complaint and request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
The case alleges that Klingemann is “not statutorily eligible” for appointment by the county commissioners to fill the post of state’s attorney “because he was not a member of the Democratic Party as was Mr. Edmonds at the time of his election.”
Democrats allege that Klingemann has not signed a Democratic candidate position, signed a Democratic statement of candidacy, applied for and received a Democratic primary ballot nor become a Democratic candidate for election to or accepted appointment to the office of ward, township, precinct or state central committeeperson.
Klingemann said at the Aug. 27 county board meeting that he had announced as a Democrat.
A hearing in the case was held Thursday morning, Aug. 29, at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro. Judge William Thurston presided at the hearing. Prior to the start of the hearing, the judge met with attorneys involved in the case.
The plaintiffs withdrew a request for a temporary restraining order, as long as the status quo was maintained. The defendant was given time to respond to the allegations.
The judge set the next hearing in the case for 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at the courthouse. He suggested that “time is of the essence” in the matter and encouraged the two parties to resolve the issue.