Newsweek is saying that Huckabee intervened in the state police investigation that his son and another youth hung a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp.
The incident led to the dismissal of David Huckabee, then 17, from his job as a counselor at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, Ark. It also prompted the local prosecuting attorney— bombarded with complaints generated by a national animal-rights group—to write a letter to the Arkansas state police seeking help investigating whether David and another teenager had violated state animal-cruelty laws. The state police never granted the request, and no charges were ever filed. But John Bailey, then the director of Arkansas's state police, tells NEWSWEEK that Governor Huckabee's chief of staff and personal lawyer both leaned on him to write a letter officially denying the local prosecutor's request. Bailey, a career officer who had been appointed chief by Huckabee's Democratic predecessor, said he viewed the lawyer's intervention as improper and terminated the conversation. Seven months later, he was called into Huckabee's office and fired. "I've lost confidence in your ability to do your job," Bailey says Huckabee told him. One reason Huckabee cited was "I couldn't get you to help me with my son when I had that problem," according to Bailey.
To be honest, I don't really get how an "official letter" from the state police would have helped his son out. Maybe they wanted some sort of paper trail so that it didn't look like the governor secretly quashed it. Then again, how often do state police intervene in the abuse of one animal (a misdemeanor offense)? Remember the Vick case started out with a drug raid, not an animal abuse investigation.
It's going to be a nasty campaign season...
Photo by Yaquina