FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local state representative running for Arkansas Senate receives a cease and desist from an Arkansas State Police trooper.

It stems from a campaign flyer featuring the trooper, which was taken in March. State trooper Jesse Woodham says he asked that his image not be used in State Rep. Clint Penzo’s campaign material.

The trooper in the photo on the left of a campaign flyer belonging to State Rep. Clint Penzo says he asked that his image not be used in campaign material.

Arkansas State Police released a statement regarding the flyer:

Yesterday (Tuesday, November 1st) the Arkansas State Police was made aware of a photograph depicting State Trooper Jesse Woodham posing with Representative Clint Penzo.  The photograph was being used in campaign literature and/or online social media advertisement.

On March 8, 2022 during a bill signing ceremony (HB 1026) authorizing pay raises and a new salary grid for Arkansas State Troopers, Trooper Woodham was approached by Representative Penzo asking to pose with him for a photograph.  In response to the request, Trooper Woodham made it clear to Representative Penzo such a photograph could not be used as an endorsement or in any future campaign advertising.  Trooper Woodham’s supervising sergeant was present and understood the agreement made between the two and concurs with the discussion leading up to the photograph being recorded.

Trooper Woodham contacted Representative Penzo yesterday, reminding him of the agreement associated with the photograph, and requested Mr. Penzo to cease and desist any use of the photo.

Trooper Woodham is assigned to the Arkansas State Police Administrative Services Division, Training Section.

Arkansas State Police

KNWA/FOX24 reached out to Penzo for comment. He responded with a statement:

When we held the signing ceremony for bonuses for law enforcement officers, I took a picture with a friend from school who serves as a state trooper. I asked his permission to use the picture and posted it on March 10th. I also used the photo in a mail piece reaffirming my support for law enforcement. I wasn’t aware that was an issue. In no way was I implying the state troopers’ support for my campaign, but rather my support for the men and women who serve and protect the citizens of Arkansas. Unfortunately, my opponent is playing politics instead of backing the blue.

State Rep. Clint Penzo

Penzo is running for the State Senate seat in District 31 against Democrat Lisa Parks.