PARAGOULD, Ark. – An Arkansas Constable sent a Paragould Police Officer an ominous message Sunday night because the officer spoke out about unethical behavior in the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.
The message, which NEA Report confirmed was written by Shady Grove Constable Claude Graves, is in reference to a viral Facebook post written by former Greene County Deputy Cody Oost about the Sheriff, David Carter.
Although Oost left the GCSD, he remained in law enforcement within the county. He is currently an officer with Paragould Police Department and was elected to be constable in the Friendship Township of Greene County Tuesday night.
But the messages were far from friendly that Graves sent to Oost. A 10-33 is an officer’s call for immediate help. It is the code that could mean the officer is in danger. Graves messages made clear that he thought none of the Greene County deputies would ever come to Oost’s aide due to Oost speaking out.
“Thou shall not trash you[sic] fellow brothers in blue,” Graves wrote.
Graves didn’t deny the messages were his when we contacted him this week.
“What you sent me appears to be a private message between two people,” Graves wrote back on Messenger. “Apparently, Cody Oost decided to breach that confidentiality. Let’s just leave it at that.”
In addition to his private message on Facebook to Oost, Graves apparently also sent an angry message to the fictitious account, “Wes Price.”
“Price” deactivated his anonymous account in fear of retaliation from the sheriff after the election, he later announced in a post.
The contentious sheriff’s race was decided Tuesday night by 91 votes. In what most everyone considered to be a shocking result, Marmaduke Police Chief Steve Franks defeated Sheriff Carter, 5,524 votes to 5,433. Franks will take office on January 1, 2019. Franks was the only person with a “D” next to his name to win in Greene County on Tuesday night.
Graves is a noted Greene County Republican who founded the Republican Party of Greene County PAC (Political Action Committee). This is not to be confused with the official Greene County (AR) Republicans, which is the official county Republican group that Graves is notably no longer a member of.
In January 28, 2008, Graves was appointed Constable for the Shady Grove Township by Governor Mike Beebe. He was then elected that November and has been reelected several times.
On March 21, 2011, the Greene County Quorum Court reviewed the issue of salaries for constables, in light of the work performance compared to the sheriff’s department. At that meeting, Appropriation Ordinance No. 2011-06 was passed, setting constable salaries at $25 a month. Graves was not happy and sued. The Greene County Circuit Court denied his claim and so he appealed while also filing a claim for expenses in the amount of $4,142 he had allegedly accumulated while working as a township officer. On Dec. 5, 2013, the Supreme Court of Arkansas rejected his claim and affirmed the lower court’s order while also denying his claim for the expenses.
While working as constable, he notably made the arrest of the murderer of Stacy Quintana in the murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by Stacy’s estranged husband.
His current term expires in 2020.