Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Public corruption? In Arkansas?

You have possibly heard that two state audits that found that two former employees of the state Board of Architects collected more than $230,000 in improper travel reimbursements have been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The audits also have been referred to Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley. Criminal offenses involving state government are prosecuted in Pulaski County. I learned that back in the era when Chris Piazza prosecuted the attorney general.

The accused certainly are entitled to the presumption of innocence. The taxpayers are entitled to a thorough investigation as well. I understand that the prosecutor does not have an investigative arm, so he will rely on the FBI, and perhaps state police. The accused former employees have made some restitution and have pretty much said they should be allowed to move on with life.

Not so fast. So far there has been no action, except for a big yawn, after all the no-bid hanky panky uncovered in the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. It makes one wish the Lonoke prosecutor would move to Pulaski County and restore law and order.

(Broadcast May 14, 2007)

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