Arkansas political consultant H.L. Moody was arrested Monday on a federal child pornography charge, authorities said.
A sealed criminal complaint was filed Friday against Harold L. Moody Jr. and unsealed Tuesday.
Moody pleaded innocent Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock and waived his right to a bond hearing, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas said. Moody will remain in federal custody.
He is accused of using a video conferencing application to view and share videos of adults raping children, according to an affidavit filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Moody was chairman of the Pulaski County Democratic Party for two years and communications director for the Democratic Party of Arkansas from July 2015 until February 2017, according to his public Facebook page.
Moody left his role as state party spokesman when current Chairman Michael John Gray was elected, said Reed Brewer, current communications director for the party.
"This news is horrific," Brewer said. "Any charges like this and any person charged like this should be held fully and totally by the law and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He has long not been an employee here, and not under the current leadership either."
Moody was also listed as special events coordinator for Pulaski County Youth Services, according to the affidavit.
Pulaski County government fired Moody on Monday after learning he was under investigation, county spokesman Cozetta Jones said.
Moody had been employed in the role since February 2017, Jones said. It was "strictly an administrative position," based in an office, and he did not interact with children as part of his job, Jones said.
Moody was tasked with planning fundraisers, such as the Champions of Youth event last month, Jones said.
"We are all in shock that this has happened," Jones said. "There was nothing that would indicate anything like this. We're deeply saddened and shocked by it."
Federal law enforcement briefed the county Monday afternoon, and officials decided to fire him, Jones said. It was not immediately clear whether Moody was told he was being fired.
Moody additionally served as campaign manager for Tippi McCullough of Little Rock, Moody's Facebook page says. McCullough is poised to represent Arkansas House District 33 after winning a primary election and facing no Republican opponent in the general election.
He founded Warhorse Creative Consulting, a firm that helps political campaigns and nonprofits with communications, event planning and digital media.
Metro on 11/07/2018