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Pulaski County's interim elections chief relieved of duties after plan to leave U.S. during vote count

by Brianna Kwasnik | September 10, 2021 at 4:27 p.m.
Shawn Camp, then-assistant director of elections for the Pulaski County Election Commission, explains the ballot duplication process Thursday Nov. 5, 2020 in Little Rock for poll watchers. Election officials were beginning to create duplicate ballots to replace and tabulate defective and damaged ballots from the previous Tuesday's election. More photos at arkansasonline.com/116ballots/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

The interim director of elections for the Pulaski County Election Commission has been relieved of his duties effective immediately, the county judge of Pulaski County announced Friday afternoon.

County Judge Barry Hyde said the decision came as a result of a determination that interim director Shawn Camp was “abandoning his job.”

On Thursday morning, Camp sent an email to county employees stating he would be out of the country for two weeks, starting the day before the Sept. 14 referendum on Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.'s proposed sales-tax increase.

“I will be out of the country from Monday, September 13th through Monday, September 26th and back in the office on Tuesday, September 27th,” Camp wrote in an email sent to Hyde, Pulaski County Comptroller Mike Hutchens, county attorney Adam Fogelman and assistant Travis Montgomery.

The email was obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via a Freedom of Information Act request.

“In my absence, Amanda Dickens, Acting Assistant Director, will be supervising the Election Department and all its activities,” Camp wrote. “The Election Department team is prepared for my absence and clear about their responsibilities.”

The county judge’s office in Pulaski County sent out a news release Friday stating that Camp had been relieved of his duties effective immediately, and that Dickens will serve as acting director.

Dickens has served Pulaski County for the last 17 years in the county clerk’s office and with the election commission, according to the release.

[Livestream of Election Commission meeting not showing up above? Click here to watch » youtube.com/watch?v=ZEZ92EzGHg8]

“Pulaski County is moving forward,” Hyde said in the release. “I want to ensure that the election commission has the resources it needs to ensure that next week’s election is conducted properly, is accessible and transparent.”

The Little Rock referendum on the proposed sales-tax increase is scheduled for Tuesday, according to the county website. The last day of early voting will be on Monday.

Bryan Poe, who had served as director of elections for Pulaski County since 2013, resigned in March, weeks after the election commission voted to decertify him.

CORRECTION: The county judge’s office in Pulaski County sent out a news release Friday stating that Camp had been relieved of his duties effective immediately. An earlier version of this story misstated when the news release was sent.

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