Garland Trice, a candidate for Jefferson County coroner, said Wednesday that he stands by paperwork that lists his address as a home at 711 W. Sixth Ave. in Pine Bluff, although the home has boards nailed across the front door and appears to have no electric or gas utility service.
Trice listed the address where the home is located on an affidavit of eligibility when he filed for election as a Democrat.
He filed the affidavit with a political practices pledge March 3, and it was notarized by Chief Deputy County Clerk Evelyn Goldman.
Contacted by telephone Wednesday afternoon, Trice disagreed that the house was boarded up.
“That’s your opinion,” Trice said. “I can get in there every day.”
Asked directly if he lived at the house, Trice said “I stand by what I submitted and am comfortable with that.”
Other doors and windows at the house also are covered with boards, the gas utility meter is missing and the electric meter loop is disconnected.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said Wednesday he had been notified about the potentially false statement on Trice’s affidavit of eligibility but the matter has not been investigated to this point.
Hunter said Arkansas state law has two statutes regarding false swearing, one of which covers making a false statement in an “official proceeding” and knowing it was false, while the second statute covers making a false statement in an other-than-official proceeding. The first of the two is a Class C felony, punishable by three to 10 years in prison and/or a fine while the latter is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine.
According to voting records at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, Trice’s address is 1407 E. Sixth Ave., and he has voted using that address since at least 2005.
In addition, Trice was a candidate for the District 1 Justice of the Peace position on the Jefferson County Quorum Court in 2012 and listed his address as on the certificate of eligibility as 1407 E. Sixth Ave.
The Jefferson County Assessor’s Office website indicates that Trice and his wife own the property at 1407 E. Sixth Ave. Trice is also listed as a co-owner of a 13.49-acre tract in the county.
Ted Davis, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Central Committee, said Wednesday he had no knowledge of Trice filing a false address on his certificate of eligibility but said “he would take a look at that.”
Records from the assessor’s office show that 711 W. Sixth Ave., was acquired by Metro Empire Land Association L.L.C. in 2004 for $28,000. In the 1990s, the location was the headquarters for Pine Bluff Blues Fest Inc.
The Secretary of State’s website showed that Metro Empire Land Association’s charter has been revoked because the agent resigned, but did not identify who that agent was. In addition, state law prohibits the identification of members of the association.