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Gov. Sanders turns down the Arkansas Board of Corrections’ request for state National Guard assistance



Little Rock, Arkansas – In a letter to Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday, the Arkansas Board of Corrections requested assistance from the state’s National Guard in addressing personnel shortages. This request is in response to a request from the state for extra beds.

Benny Magness, the chairman of the Board of Corrections, wrote to Sanders requesting 138 soldiers of the National Guard to assist with staffing difficulties, which he said were preventing them from adding extra beds as requested by the governor.

Gov. Sanders responded to Magness’s request Friday morning, calling his letter an “example of the desire to play political games.”

The governor went on to attack Magness, eventually demanding that he resign from his post right away because of what she perceived to be a “lack of action” on the part of the Board of Corrections.

“It is at this time that I must call for your immediate resignation,” Gov. Sanders said. “It is clear that the Board of Corrections is incapable of rational, reasonable, or fiscally responsible decision-making under [Magness’s] leadership.”

To address the recent accusations, the Board of Corrections convened a last-minute meeting on Friday.

Magness declared he wouldn’t step down. Additionally, the board decided to place Secretary Joe Profiri on paid suspension and hire outside legal counsel for the Board of Corrections.

They didn’t decide who would serve as the acting secretary.

The governor rejected Magness’s letter asking to utilize the men and women of the National Guard as “pawns” to address staffing problems, accusing Magness of trying to do just that.

Gov. Sanders asserted that Secretary Joe Profiri had put in place an initial plan that didn’t call for any more staff.

Gov. Sanders urged the Board of Corrections to reinstate Secretary Profiri and carry out his plan to reactivate beds as they address staffing difficulties.

“If the Board wants to reactivate beds, then they should reinstate the Secretary and implement his plan without delay,” the governor said. “I will not inject our guardsmen and women into a purely political situation caused by the very person requesting them.”

This comes after Governor Sanders demanded the resignation of Board of Corrections Chairman Benny Magness and turned down their request for assistance from the National Guard.

Following the suspension of Secretary of Corrections Joe Profiri by the board, Attorney General Tim Griffin and the Board of Corrections are currently embroiled in a court dispute.


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