Altes says attacks are political, ‘no evidence’ for allegations (Updated)

story by Ryan Saylor
rsaylor@thecitywire.com

Editor's note: Story updated with statement from Bobby Altes' campaign.

Bobby Altes, a Republican candidate for state representative in District 76, is staying in the primary race and may push back with legal action to counter reports that detailed past allegations of domestic abuse, assault charges, and an allegation of an abortion by one of Altes' ex-wives.

In a Thursday afternoon (May 8) telephone conversation with The City Wire, Altes addressed the allegations in the article – which stemmed from a report first posted by the left-leaning Blue Hog Report –and said he was cleared of any wrongdoing in both criminal cases. (See his full media statement at the end of this report.)

"There's allegations of that, but I've never been charged with anything criminal, much less convicted of anything criminal," he said, adding that "there's two sides to every story."

He also said District 76 voters should not let the reports influence their vote, adding that he will not drop out of the May 20 Republican primary.

"My personal life has never interfered with my business life nor would interfere with my political life. It's a last minute attack and it's a pretty ugly one at that."

Altes, the son of outgoing Rep. Denny Altes, R-Fort Smith, said the allegation of domestic battery dating back to 2006 was baseless and charges against him in that case were dropped.

"More or less, it was an argument and then, like I said, there was no charges brought because there was no evidence or any kind of physical contact, if you would. There was no…it was dropped. The charges were dropped. There was just nothing to it."

The other criminal case involving Altes stemmed from a March 7, 2006, incident in which Altes confirms that he brandished a handgun during an altercation involving a former employee. According to a Sebastian County Sheriff's Department incident report, Jerry Clardy claimed Altes pulled the gun when he went to Altes' business to pick up his last paycheck.

"Mr. Clardy stated that when he asked Mr. Altes for his paperwork and his payroll information that was visible on Mr. Altes' desk, he then reached for the payroll information and told Mr. Altes that he would give the paperwork to his last supervisor, Bill," the report read. "At this point Mr. Altes pulled a .357 Magnum (revolver) and point it at him while telling him to get away from his desk and Mr. Clardy immediately dropped the paperwork and walked away while Mr. Altes had the handgun pointed at him."

During the conversation with The City Wire, Altes said he feared for his life during the confrontation with Clardy at which time he opened a desk drawer and displayed the gun, identified in the incident report as a .357 Magnum Revolver.

"The law says if you feel threatened for your life, then you're within your rights to protect yourself," he said. "And there (was) this guy…it seemed to me that he smelled of alcohol when he came in. There were other people who witnessed it. He came in and he was agitated and he was threatening. And then like the report says, he starts ripping papers up off the desk. I just basically pulled the desk drawer back and there was a pistol in there. I said, 'You need to put my papers down and leave.' That defused the situation. Like I said, I don't know why it wasn't in the report, (but) there were threats that were made and it was a pretty tense situation."

During the altercation, Altes alleges that Clardy "said something about he was going to get me. I don't know much beyond that. That's been a while back."

Regarding allegations by Altes' second ex-wife that her drove he to a Tulsa, Okla., abortion clinic to terminate the pregnancy, Altes denied the charge and said if his ex-wife did abort one of his children, she did so without his blessing.

"Right, that would be against my wishes," he said.

Altes made clear that he did not know about the abortion or whether it even occurred.

"Correct. And I don't know. I've seen some paperwork, but I don't know the validity of it."

As a result, Altes said he would be releasing a statement to the media later Thursday stating that he would pursue legal action against his ex-wife as a result of the allegations she made against him. As for what the legal action could be, Altes would not say.

"I don't want to say too much or anything since there is legal action pending."

Regarding a statement from Sebastian County Republican Party Chairman Rex Terry that Altes misled him about his past behavior and how it could harm the party, Altes declined to comment "at this moment," adding that he was shocked at all of the allegations included in the Blue Hog Report article.

BOBBY ALTES STATEMENT
I wish when I married that it would be happy ever after but life had other plans. Some of you might even understand through your own experiences. I am not perfect. I've had some disappointments in my past, but I've grown from them.

I deny the allegations that I have been accused of. I have never forced anyone to do anything, nor do I have control over their decisions. I have never been charged or convicted of any crime. I have paid every dime of support and have never been held in contempt of court.

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There are two ways to win an election. You can work hard and shake the hand of those you hope to serve and listen to their concerns, or you can make up lies and half truths and throw mud to try to win.

My opponent underestimated me as a challenger. Now he's tried to dig up dirt, contacting exes and encouraging them to smear me. Perhaps he should have worked harder and met the constituents.

I choose to take the high road and not to release negative information about my opponent. It saddens me that this has become a smear campaign and that parties have chosen sides who should have remained neutral.

My personal life has never interfered with my professional life nor would it in my public life. I remain dedicated to getting Fort Smith back to work, good schools, and local control.

Five Star Votes: 
Average: 3.9 (15 votes)

Comments

So that's the "high road" eh?

I didn't realize "taking the high road" meant blaming your opponent for stories he did not research or write. Who is smearing who now? Ah, but that is par for the course for the hypocritical Mr. Altes. Of course, the best is yet to come. Once Mr. Altes inherits his seat in Little Rock, then Fort Smith can solidify its hold on the title of political laughingstock of Arkansas.

lack of character

As usual Bobby can't or won't accept responsibility for his past on his opponent who has not used this info in any ads or otherwise. Bobby's dirty laundry is all documented public record and an investigative reporter dug it up. It isn't as if most people in FSM didn't already know all about Bobby. To prove that he is current on child support he should release the OCSE payment records. He certainly should to prove his innocence unless of course those records show that he only got current on that support shortly before making the decision to run.

The truth

So Bobby, not being charged with any crime, does the Greenwood prosecution of you for domestic battery just not count because no one hadn't mentioned it yet or you really thought no one would find out. Talk about digging a hole. Remember the coverup is worse than the crime, and your issued statement just proves you have no problem misleading the public.

Just sounds like a typical

Just sounds like a typical bully to me. Maybe he doesn't understand the English language. Yes there is evidence and plenty of it!! The old saying goes, "For every rat you see there's 50 you don't." Wonder how many other people could have gone to the police but didn't.

Anonymous

Anyone else see the irony in the attacks by "Anonymous"? Yes questioning the integrity of another while posting as "Anonymous" Gave me a good belly laugh this morning

Pitsch is much more 'flippant' with money

would be my guess as to what the reaction here is really about. Ever since they cracked down on buying votes with whiskey, people have been trying to get around it somehow. Mental problems, Breakin's, DNA, Embassy attack's...there's always something to work with.

Altes - Sad for Fort Smith

So Altes' statement is an example of taking the high road? He is a poor excuse for a politician, but I guess he learned that from his father. My husband and I moved back to Fort Smith in 2003. I always believed that people from our community who chose to run for office were good people. But this is behavior that you see in Chicago or Boston. Altes is a thug. I have told every woman I know who can vote against him to do so. Women all over Fort Smith cannot stand by and let this monster get elected.

The bigger picture

I understand people get divorced for a lot of reasons, many of them valid, but sounds like this Bobby fellow has a lot of personal growing to do before we elect him to represent us in the legislature. 2 divorces and another child from a third relationship. It wasn't that long ago when republicans ran on platforms of family values.

Pyle should know better

Betcha Sandy Pyle will run background checks from now on before helping any more political wanna be's. Too bad Altes tried to hide his history and not disclose it early. Would have taken a lot of the sting out. Bad PR move.

If you know Ft Smith.....here's how you decide to vote

You don't listen to WHAT hardly at all...you simply listen to WHO real close. Are the wrong ones here supporting a certain candidate? That's all you need to know.

Choices

You can vote for a guy that likes women or vote for a guy that wants into your wallet. Bill Clinton loved women and was a good president and our current President appears to have a great family life but he lacks leadership qualities so the facts point to electing a person who will do more for the average person so Altes is the only choice.

Unbelievable

You are an idiot. You would vote for a wife-abuser and a father who can't even take care of his children? This has NOTHING to do with any political party or belief. This has EVERYTHING to do with the simple fact that Bobby Altes has made a lifetime of poor choices and bad decisions.

Bigots Bigotry Bigwigs

You should vote for a candidate based on his ability to do the job and his personal life should be off limits. We had a great president that balanced the budget, ran a budget surplus, created lots of jobs, reduced welfare, but had a strange desire to be extra friendly with lots of women. Sometimes great leaders and great business people make very poor personal choices but get the job done that they are elected to do so maybe the real "idiots" are the people that vote for a person who projects a great image but is a complete failure as a leader.

do as I say not as I do

you are missing the point. This man is campaigning as something he is not. For that reason, his personal life has been dragged into the discussion.

Lovers and Wallet Snatchers

hmmm, chasing women or snatching taxpayer wallets with crony deals creates interesting choices for the voters. Altes verses Pitsch

No Brainer

Actually it's not an interesting choice at all. What it is is a no brainer. We don't need a dead-beat dad and a wife-beater representing the good people of Fort Smith. Vote Pitsch.

Guilty until proven innocent?

But there are no charges that have been filed here much less convictions. Does that not even matter? Seems as a nation we have now sank to the point that we will put up with all kinds of alleged violations as long as that person will do what we want while the same things can provide fodder to eliminate those who won't. (A guy goes around promising all sorts of things to Senators to avoid impeachment...not a problem whatsoever with these types.)

Hear-say

Its shocking to see all this hear-say evidence being presented to elect or not elect a candidate for public office. There are no court records to back up these charges and it appears that all this garbage is coming from the Pitsch camp and without backup, it appears that Altes is the right person for the job. The mud slingers won't get my vote and its disappointing that the Pitsch camp would stoop that low to win.

Charges

Actually there were charges filed in Greenwood for one of the assaults on his then wife. The report indicates when officers arrived she had a bloody nose as well as other red marks on her face. Altes denied knowing how it happened. Be careful who you idolize. Seems as a nation we should be able to judge our political representatives from their past behavior and not only include those issues that they were convicted. Likewise if one claims to be family oriented and solid family man, then all evidence regardless of conviction is relevant as it relates to his claims of who he is. So if OJ Simpson was running for office would you defend his past, I mean he wasn't convicted.

Vote Bobby Altes State Rep District 76

I think idolizing a political candidate is unhealthy and perhaps is the reason our government is in the condition it's in. The people have to decide, do we want government to provide the basic, essential services at the most efficient price to the citizens and allow the free, competitive markets to work for individuals, or do we want our government to be the economic engine to the community. To be the economic engine means more picking and choosing who wins. It means too big to fail. It means there are fewer players, less competition and less opportunities for future generations. Do we want someone who is experienced in the private sector or do we want someone that makes his living in the non-profit realm at the expense of the taxpayers. Bobby's opponent is RITA, (Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority), a non-profit position paid for by the taxpayers. I asked for a audited budget from RITA and the most recent year I could get was 2012. In 2012 Bobby's opponent had a salary package of approximately $132,000 a year and a budget of $170,000 and I can't find one significant accomplishment he has completed since being at RITA and the only revenue in 2012 was from the taxpayers of Fort Smith. Bobby's opponent speaks of pushing I-49, but there is no better lobbyist for I-49 than the world's largest retailer, located in Bentonville. Bobby's opponent speaks of container shipping and a "inland port" to rival the busy ports of the West Coast, but folks, let's be realistic, the Mighty Mississippi doesn't even have container shipping. In closing, the difference is clear, if you want to continue seeing crony networks in Fort Smith, less opportunities for the average, hard workers, but more taxpayer funded projects, then Bobby's opponent is your man. But if you want someone who will represent the people of Fort Smith, then Bobby Altes is your man.
I think idolizing a political candidate is unhealthy and perhaps is the reason our government is in the condition it's in. The people have to decide, do we want government to provide the basic, essential services at the most efficient price to the citizens and allow the free, competitive markets to work for individuals, or do we want our government to be the economic engine to the community. To be the economic engine means more picking and choosing who wins. It means too big to fail. It means there are fewer players, less competition and less opportunities for future generations. Do we want someone who is experienced in the private sector or do we want someone ...>> Read the entire comment.

Swink Should Think

And once more, Jack Swink illustrates why no one in Fort Smith listens to his rants. He would have you vote for a man who beats his wife, ignores his children and flaunts the law (just like Daddy Altes) because his "experience" is running his Dad's company, nearly into the ground. Versus someone who's actually run a successful company, employed hundreds, been responsible for teaching engineers, brought multiple businesses and workers to Fort Smith and is working with some of the largest companies in the world to put Fort Smith and the Arkansas River on the map. Yeah…. PS… way to run down some woman's religious beliefs. You're a hell of a man.

Did You Notice

The attack on Jack Swink was from an anonymous poster who probably works for Mr. P. and is probably paid with your tax dollars. If Mr. P was doing great things for Fort Smith then why is there no growth, no jobs, and why are tax revenues in the sewer?

Think Swink Is Right

Religion and politics don't mix well so they should be kept where they belong! Do you hear me Don? If Matt P. is the answer then why are there no good jobs in Fort Smith and why is there so much crony politics? Agree on one thing that Swink is a hell of a man that puts his name on his views and is not afraid of the crony establishment in Fort Smith that can't get out of their own way.

So...let me get this straight

Altes has an accounting degree, so he knows how to run a business and knows how economics works. He's worked in the private sector, so he knows how economics works. Ok, I'll MAYBE give you that. His concept of customer service sucks. I used to live in a area covered by his company, and I had to call and complain every other week. So yeah, he knows how economics works. Definitely got that customer service portion figured out. But you failed to mention the education of his opponent. Why is that? Oh, that's right, it defeats your point. Pitsch has an associates degree in engineer, a BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering Management. Hmm, those last two sound like business degrees. Let's go look those up. He got those last two from Missouri-Rolla, now called Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology. Never heard of it? Go look it up and see how good of a school that is. Anyway, here's the description straight off the college webpage: Engineering Management focuses on the convergence of engineering, management and innovation in high technology environments. There is a growing need for engineers who can see the big picture, effectively interact and communicate with people, appreciate the business ramifications of decisions, thrive on ambiguity, effectively work in teams, and apply critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems. Sounds like something I'd LOVE someone to know how to work with ....the big picture and high technology. So Swink talks about Pitsch's salary. Great. What's Altes's salary? Because, I know that it's very important that the salary that Pitsch makes is a very important fact in your argument, so Altes's salary must be important as well. Pitsch is looking to expand opportunities in Fort Smith, and Altes has suggested what as an idea to improve the economy of Fort Smith? Well, I went to his webpage and found....nothing! I found a great history of his companies, the standard conservative platform (Lower business taxes, school vouchers, no obamacare, pro-life and pro-gun, and he's a Christian) economy....not mentioned. He's the outsider. He's gonna fight the bloated government.....taking the baton his father passed him. Daddy did a GREAT job of fighting LR for the sake of FS by the way. You know, as part of the government that he wants to fight. But nothing about improving Fort Smith. If you want to see the same crony networks representing Fort Smith, because you know, the son of the former Rrepresentative is OBVIOUSLY a different network as Jack would make us believe, vote for Altes, which hasn't given one specific of how he would help Fort Smith. If you want someone that will fight for a change unlike our previous representative (who authored 29 bills in 2013, only had 4 of them become law and NONE of them had anything to do with economic issues), then vote for Pitsch. Jack, you will also note that I used both candidate's names. I suggest you show both men that respect. They are at least putting their name up for a vote, something that you have yet to do, but you are confident you know how to fix all of Fort Smith's ills.

The longer it gets, the easier it gets,

This has surely morphed here from a contest between a fellow named Altes and another one named Pitsch into one pitting the manipulators (aka the meeting dwellers) against the manipulatees (aka honest folks like us). Enough said about these two guys that really don't matter in the big picture. Let's talk about this small but organized band of delusionaries that eats, sleeps, and breathes messing every idea up that doesn't concern the downtown area and hasn't first been regurgitated by one of them and has been doing so for well over a quarter of a century now. Might we not need to silence them? I highly doubt they've even come close so far to the real reason they are sitting there wide awake and pecking on their computers into the night trying to get Pitsch elected. Odds are whatever it is..it benefits only what they want...not us.

Bzzt. try again

Number of meetings I have gone to: none. Number of projects downtown that I think are good right now: 1 You do have a point. There is a good ole boy network. We all agree with that. We all agree that good ole boy network does nothing unless it helps someone in that network.Shoot, I'm not from this area. I moved here for a job. But I've been here long enough with an outsider point of view to realize what's the same old same old, and what is someone with new ideas. Altes will do the same as his father. NOTHING he has said has indicated anything different to me. Please name one thing Daddy Altes has done for Fort Smith. Because if he has done something, I don't know about it. So please educate me on this. If I'm wrong, I'll say so. CONCRETE things he's done. Not the same tired lines you are all spouting about networks and taxpayer money. because in the long run, I want results. Altes hasn't shown any. Daddy Altes hasn't shown any. Pitsch is at least trying. So you know, lets simplify this argument. Results. What has either candidate done pre-campaign to improve or attempt to approve the economy of Fort Smith. The Altes camp can go first.

You Forgot One Important Thing

All of the current state aid is going into the Pitsch private pocket because he gets 125,000.00+ dollars per year of taxpayer money from the state for talking about a regional river port that will do nothing for the Fort Smith failing economy. Fort Smith taxpayers are paying their own city managers almost a million dollars every year to run 2 offices and what do they get for their tax dollars? No business growth, no jobs, high sales tax, poor roads, a top ten city of misery, no downtown events like the NW Arkansas BBQ event that brings 100 million dollars in economic impact to the area so who do you blame for that? Matt has made a lot of promises but can he deliver? Probably not with the present bunch running our city and Matt has jumped right in with the crony network at city hall. No thanks and I think Swink has it right because the Fort needs new leadership that will sponsor Downtown events that will bring visitors and money to the city instead of sending our tax money down the RIVER of no return. We need the entire city to get behind downtown events to let the people of Fort Smith show their stuff and have a great entertainment venue and a little fun in a city that can be the best in Arkansas. Jack is spot on about city management failures and big fat crony salaries that are bleeding Fort Smith dry and restricting growth.

OJ Deep

Are you really that desperate? The OJ Simpson case where someone lost their life compared to a case where someone had red marks on their face? Check your gloves because they don't fit and your comment lacks any real grit. I personally think that both candidates have lots of heavy baggage but the OJ comparison is only outrageous mud slinging by the P-Camp.

Brains For Betty

So we need a crony spender who wants to avoid personal property tax, insurance costs, and ride the taxpayers for more free stuff? Nobody is perfect Betty, but the personal life of a candidate should be off limits in a campaign when the only thing that matters is, can this person do the job that we elect them to do and do you remember the words of the Heavenly Father who said "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone"? Are you looking for a bigger stone to throw because YOU are without fault?

not even that

We need a representative that will try to support the area economy and force the state to take us seriously (ok, at least make an attempt) instead of putting forth all sorts of junk bills and rules (go do a search at the arkansas legislature page for bills put in by daddy altus and see how much time he wasted being a representative) and who is trying to get elected by deceiving the voters. He's using his DADDY'S ELECTION SIGNS. You know, the same ones that he stickered over when he changed from senate to representative that the sticker has now faded. He's trying to fool people into thinking his father is running instead of trying to forge his own path to get the votes of the people who have always voted for Altes. It is a no brainer. Vote Pitsch. or don't complain when nothing gets down for Fort Smith in the legislature.

Prayerful Thought

I have thought long and hard about making any kind of comment on this matter. I have prayed and talked with my pastor, who told me to follow my prayers. As a woman, and a conservative, I cannot sit by and allow this person to continue to act as though he's done nothing wrong. For years, my church and I have supported the Altes family. But this is wrong. No person should hide behind their actions and blame the women involved. I will not be voting for Bobby Altes. He needs to answer for his behavior. And prayerful Baptists in Fort Smith need to think long and hard about supporting him.

Bless you Teresa!

Keep up the prayers over all your other comments too as you very obviously have been.

Less Than Christian Values

The bible tells us not to judge so what else do I need to say about Christian Values? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Are you saying that your pastor told you to judge? Hope not!

Another Baptist

A good person of faith would not judge another person because the bible states that we should not judge.

A Right Wing and a Prayer

You prayerful of it Baptists need to keep religion and politics separated. Now you want to distance yourself from a sinner, as if you are not one yourself, Teresa-Crit.