The Duggar child molestation scandal took yet another new twist Friday when Springdale, Arkansas, Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley was reported to have said that Jim-Bob Duggar slandered her in the Duggars’ ratings-grabbing Fox News interview on June 3.
In the interview, matriarch Michelle Duggar claimed that the reports of son Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation of his sisters — one only five years old at the time — and a babysitter were “illegally” released, with some sort of sinister purpose.
“There’s an agenda,” the mother of the Duggars’ 19 children told Fox News interviewer Megyn Kelly. “There’s people that are purposely trying to bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander.”
But the only slander in the case may have been issued by Duggar clan patriarch James “Jim-Bob” Duggar — or at least that’s what O’Kelley believes.
Her concern stems from the implication made by Jim-Bob Duggar after Kelly asked him whether he knew of “any motivation” for O’Kelley “to hurt your family.”
The Duggar patriarch responded by implying that O’Kelley may have received a bribe to release the documents that revealed the earlier investigations of the child molesting accusations against Josh Duggar.
Kelly simply moved on to the next question, leaving Duggar’s serious charge unchallenged.
In Touch Weekly, the magazine that obtained the documents through legal Freedom of Information Act requests, on Friday published an email sent by Kelley — also released via a FOIA request — in which the police chief expresses shock at the Duggars’ apparently baseless assertion.
Jim-Bob Duggar also, without citing evidence, claimed that O’Kelley had a “personal agenda” that caused her to set out to deliberately destroy him.
“She was getting ready to retire and said, ‘There’s a few things I want to do before I retire,’ ” Duggar asserted. “I think I was on her list.”
“I think I have been slandered and wonder what they will say next,” O’Kelly says in the email, which was ruled to be a public record by Springdale city attorneys, dated June 4.
In the email, O’Kelley (pictured, above left) says that she actually didn’t see the Duggar interview when it aired.
“Missed last night that I was bribed,” she wrote. “Not sure they had a good PR firm or how they arrived at pointing the finger of blame at me.”
Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse later condemned the Duggars’ casual assertion of misconduct in releasing the Josh Duggar documents as “outrageous and false.”
Sprouse also explained the steps by which the Duggars were notified that the city was preparing to comply with the In Touch FOIA request and release the documents, but Jim-Bob Duggar, in the Fox News interview about the scandal, claimed that his family was blindsided by the document release.
[Images: Springdale Police Department, Andrew Burton / Getty Images]