Alderman denies pulling up campaign sign

Pine Bluff Alderman Glen Brown Sr. on Friday denied being involved in an incident the night before in which he allegedly pulled up a campaign sign for a mayor candidate.

Despite a witness reporting seeing a man driving a white van that turned out to be Pine Bluff Alderman Glen Brown Sr., pull up a campaign sign for a mayoral candidate Thursday night, Brown says he was not involved.

The sign, promoting the candidacy of Debe Hollingsworth, was located at Second Avenue and Convention Center Drive.

“I’m not running against Debe Hollingsworth,” Brown said Friday afternoon. “I’ve got a couple of other opponents and I’ve got no dog in that fight.”

Officer Justin Williams reported that a witness saw a black male get out of a white van on East Second Avenue at Convention Center Drive at about 8:40 p.m. and pull a Hollingsworth sign out of the ground.

The witness, who was identified as Steven Fletcher, said the man saw him and threw the sign into the field, then got back into the van and drove east on Second Avenue until the van turned off Port Road onto a small street.

Williams reported that Fletcher took the campaign sign home with him, called police, and gave them the license plate number of the van.

In his report, Williams said he ran an ACIC/NCIC (Arkansas Crime Information Center/National Crime Information Center) check on the license plate to try and determine the registered owner. That information was blacked out on the copy of the report obtained by The Commercial.

A short time later, another officer reported seeing a white van with the same license plate number traveling south on Blake Street before turning onto 17th Avenue, headed for Redbud Street.

The vehicle was stopped and Brown was found to be the driver. Williams and Lt. Joe Paul Harrell arrived at the scene to question tBrown.

Brown told police he had just come from a debate at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, and denied removing the Hollingsworth sign from the ground.

“I did not and will not pull up campaign signs,” Brown said Friday. “I’ve been campaigning for years and every year I lose campaign signs to rain, to wind, to people pulling them up or cutting them up. I’ve lost eight this year but I haven’t reported them.”

According to the police report, the van Brown was driving and the license plate number matched the information that Fletcher provided.

The report indicated the value of the campaign sign was $110.

“If I were Hollingsworth, or whoever, I would go on with the campaign and focus on the issues because signs don’t vote,” Brown said.