Mayor fires back at Duggars’ suggestion officers were bribed to release Josh Duggar’s police report


It seems Doug Sprouse, the mayor of Springdale, Arkansas, was watching closely when Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar spoke out last week.

In their interview last Wednesday with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Jim Bob and Michelle they believed Springdale police chief Kathy O’Kelley released Josh Duggar’s police report with her own ulterior motives.

“I feel like this is more about there’s an agenda and there’s people who are purposing to try bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander,” Michelle said.

Jim Bob added, “It’s been an unprecedented attack on our family. This information was released illegally, so I wonder why this press is not going after the system for releasing the juvenile records.”

In a press release the following day, Springdale’s city attorney corrected the Duggars by saying Josh was an adult at the time the police report was taken in 2006. Therefore, Josh’s record was never sealed. The city attorney added that the Springdale Police Department was in full compliance with Arkansas law when they released the report.

The question about whether the record was released illegally was raised again the following day when Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald — in a previously recorded interview — said they also believe the police department had a secret “agenda.”

Police Chief Kathy O'Kelley
Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley, who will formally retire on June 30.


In an effort to end the debate once and for all, Mayor Sprouse (pictured at top) said in a press release on Monday that his city “will not dignify suggestions of misconduct in this matter by Chief O’Kelley with any comment beyond labeling them as outrageous and categorically false.” Mayor Sprouse went on to list applicable “facts” about Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act, saying that upon receiving the request, Chief O’Kelley “referred the matter to the Springdale City Attorney for an opinion.”

The police department also contacted or attempted to contact the Arkansas Municipal League, the Arkansas State Police, the Washington County Juvenile Prosecuting Attorney within the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Furthermore, Mayor Sprouse said the family was informed about the request:


Subsequently and consistent with and pursuant to advice of legal counsel, the City Attorney determined that the record – after thorough redaction — was subject to release under the FOIA. Prior to release, the record went through several rounds of review that included redaction of the names of minors and all potentially identifying pronouns.


The Mayor also shot down Jim Bob and Michelle’s suggestion that Chief O’Kelley had a personal vendetta:


With respect to the Police Chief’s reference to ‘unfinished business’ cited in her retirement letter, those issues relate to issues of Departmental structure, organization and leadership succession planning and were not in reference to any case specific, including this one. Any suggestion or assertion otherwise is patently false.


Reactions to the Duggars’ interviews have been mixed across the board, to say the least. Josh Duggar continues to stay quiet, but he and his family were pictured moving out of their Washington D.C.-area home today. They reportedly plan to return to Arkansas, where they actually purchased a house months ago.

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