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CONWAY -- A special prosecutor has formally charged Faulkner County Clerk Margaret Darter with tampering with a public record.

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Darter's attorney, Frank Shaw, said Friday that he has been in talks with the prosecutor's office. But Shaw added, "I'm awaiting complete discovery [the sharing of evidence] before anything further can be discussed."

The charge, filed Wednesday and now available online, is a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison upon conviction.

The office of Ken Casady, the Saline County prosecuting attorney, is handling the case because Cody Hiland, the Faulkner County prosecutor, recused.

Darter, a Republican serving her first term in office, surrendered last week at the Faulkner County jail and was released on her own recognizance a short time later.

The charge against Darter resulted from an Arkansas State Police investigation into her office's handling of public officials' financial records.

In requesting that investigation in June, Hiland said information indicated that some county officials' statements of financial interest were filed after the legal deadline "but were improperly file stamped to reflect a timely filing and compliance with the law."

Darter is scheduled for a plea and arraignment Nov. 23 in Faulkner County Circuit Court.

State Desk on 10/31/2015

Print Headline: Prosecutor formally charges clerk in altered-records case

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