EARLE, AR (abc24.com) - A man convicted of smuggling drugs to prisoners says he's more than qualified to oversee elections in Crittenden County, AR, never mind the law says felons are not allowed.
"I made a mistake 9 years ago, I'm not going to let my past dictate my future," said Reginald Abram. "I've made my past a stepping stone, not a tombstone."
Abram was arrested in August 2004 and charged with smuggling drugs for inmates into the Crittenden County Jail. At the time, he was in charge of running the jail. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to two counts and served 10 months in federal custody.
"You can let your past hold you down, or you can move forward," Abram said. "I'm not going to be a liability, I'm an asset."
Abram says he's turned his life around. He says he runs a profitable tutoring company in Earle, and looks to give back to the community.
Lately, he says he's developed a passion for politics.
"I'm involved in the community real hard and, I have run some of the biggest campaigns around here," he said.
Last week, Abram was nominated to serve as a Democratic Election Commissioner.
He says he's been a paid member of the Crittenden County Democratic Party for the last 3 months and says no one said his criminal record would be an issue.
"Wasn't part of the membership or nothing, so that may be they need to straighten up," he said. "I don't like turmoil, that's how it is."
Abram says he's consulting with his legal team and a legal expert to determine what he'll do next. He says in the end, he just wants what's best for the Democratic Party.
Abram says he'll make his decision on Friday.