BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A former candidate for Benton County Justice of the Peace could have his forgery charge dismissed if he doesn’t commit any new crimes and maintains good behavior for the next six months.
Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green on Monday (Jan. 28) issued a diversion order to Henry Parker Zielinski, who was arrested last fall after police found several counterfeit $100 bills in his car.
Zielinski, 38, could be held in contempt or face the forgery charge if he violates the order. He’ll have a review hearing on July 15.
Rogers police initially stopped Zielinski on Oct. 16, 2018, for not wearing a seat belt, but found that his license plate was linked to a shoplifting case from Walmart, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Zielinski said he didn’t know anything about the shoplifting allegation, but allowed officers to search his car, where they found 19 counterfeit $100 bills.
Zielinski said he purchased the bills online for his son for a game, according to the affidavit.
Police said the bills had the same serial number, but felt different from actual money and were discolored.
Zielinski, 38, ran as a Democrat for Justice of the Peace District 5, which covers northwest Rogers between Interstate 49 and Arkansas 94.
Republican Perrien Smith defeated Zielinski in the 2018 general election. She received 1,947 votes (58 percent) to Zielinski’s 1,406 (41.9 percent).