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NCJ Number: 65149 Find in a Library
Title: EMBATTLED CRUSADER OF CONWAY COUNTY (AR)
Journal: SATURDAY EVENING POST  Volume:239  Issue:24  Dated:(NOVEMBER 19, 1966)  Pages:25-29,90-91,94
Author(s): T ARMBRISTER
Date Published: 1966
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DEPICTS THE 5-YEAR STRUGGLE OF AN ARKANSAS COUNTY NEWSPAPER EDITOR TO EXPOSE SUCH INCIDENCES OF LOCAL CORRUPTION AS VOTING IRREGULARITIES AND FALSIFICATION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS.
Abstract: ARKANSAS EDITOR EUGENE H. WIRGES FIRST EXPOSED IRREGULARITIES IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM-MISSING FUNDS FOR CLASS RINGS AND TEACHERS' SALARIES--BUT FOUND HE FACED ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL POLITICAL MACHINES IN THE COUNTRY. HE LATER TRIED TO EXPOSE FRAUD IN ABSENTEE BALLOTING; LOCAL AND COUNTY OFFICIALS' SALARIES AND EXPENSE ACCOUNTS; AND FINES COLLECTED FOR TRAFFIC OFFENSES. AS A RESULT OF HIS CRUSADING EFFORTS; WIRGES WAS INDICTED FOR SLANDER, CONSPIRACY, LIBEL, AND PERJURY, AND HE AND HIS OFFICE WERE PHYSICALLY THREATNED AND ASSAULTED. THE CORRUPTION HE FOUGHT APPARENTLY EXTENDED TO HIS TRIALS, WHERE EVIDENCE WAS SUPPRESSED AND OBVIOUSLY BIASED JURORS WERE SEATED. WIRGES WAS REPEATEDLY CONVICTED AND FINED. ALTHOUGH SOME DECISIONS WERE LATER REVERSED BY THE STATE SUPREME COURT, HE HAS SINCE BEEN SENTENCED TO HARD LABOR FOR 3 YEARS AT THE STATE PENITENTIARY. IN ADDITION, LITTLE HAS CHANGED IN CONWAY COUNTY TO MERIT WIRGES' EFFORTS. (RM)
Index Term(s): Arkansas; Bribery; Corruption of public officials; Fraud; Graft; Local government; Media coverage; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65149

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