After spending five nights in the Faulkner County jail, former
Prosecuting Attorney Dan Harmon agreed Tuesday to submit to drug
tests so he could go home.
In a surprise hearing held late Tuesday afternoon at Harmon's
request, U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Forster Jr. agreed to
release Harmon as long as the Benton man agreed to standard
pretrial release procedures.
Because Harmon is charged with possession of drugs, among
other charges handed up by a federal grand jury on April 11, he
is required to submit to urine analysis.
"It just appeared to me that the rules were completely
arbitrary,'' Harmon said Tuesday. "I think by serving five days
in jail, I demonstrated my concern about the government's drug
At an arraignment a week ago, Forster broke with standard
procedure and agreed to allow Harmon to take his drug tests at an
independent facility. Harmon was released, but turned himself in
the next day saying he was unwilling to submit any of his body
fluids for the tests.
During Tuesday's hearing, Harmon said part of his "great
concern'' regarding the drug tests stemmed from a positive drug
test encountered by his former wife and co-defendant Holly
DuVall. While on supervised release earlier this year, DuVall
tested positive for cocaine use. DuVall maintained she did not
use the drug and attempted to contest the validity of the test
results in court.
Harmon said he believed -- and could present evidence -- that
DuVall's test was tampered with. DuVall faced drug and conspiracy
charges from a January indictment, but those charges were reduced
in April to knowing about a felony and not disclosing that
Forster agreed to release Harmon Tuesday but said he would
have to take standard drug tests, which are administered by
pretrial services and evaluated by a laboratory in California. If
Harmon wishes, Forster said, he could have another test done by
an independent laboratory to use for comparison should he test
positive on the government's test.
In 1991, Harmon refused to take drug tests that U.S.
Magistrate Judge H. David Young ordered after a federal grand
jury returned tax charges against Harmon. He spent 18 days in the
North Little Rock jail but the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
eventually ordered his release, saying drug testing was improper
in that case.
On Tuesday, Harmon -- who is representing himself
continued to search for a suitable attorney to assist in his
Forster originally appointed North Little Rock lawyer Bruce
Eddy for the job, but Eddy was removed a day later because he
represents Ronnie Joe Knight. Knight is named but not charged in
Harmon's indictment in two drug-related counts and is likely to
appear as a witness against Harmon.
The second attorney to be appointed was R. David Lewis, but
Harmon asked Tuesday that he be taken off the case because he may
be a defense witness. Harmon said that Lewis faced similar
"harassment by the FBI'' and could be called to the witness
Harmon asked Forster to appoint a female attorney to take
Lewis' place, saying that prosecutors and the media are "trying
to paint me as some kind of brute as regards women.'' Forster
said he did not know if that was a "reasonable'' request.
Harmon faces 11 charges, including one that he ran the 7th
Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's office as an organized
criminal enterprise in violation of the federal Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
He is also accused of four counts of conspiracy to extort
money, two each of possession of cocaine hydrochloride with the
intent to distribute and conspiracy to manufacture drugs, and one
each of witness tampering and retaliation against a witness.
Harmon and seven co-defendants are scheduled for trial May 27
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