Saturday, September 17, 2016

Charges filed against Monticello mayor for record tampering, abuse of office

Posted By on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 7:26 AM

click to enlarge MAYOR ZACK TUCKER
  • MAYOR ZACK TUCKER
Monticello Live reported last night that criminal charges had been filed against Monticello Mayor Zach Tucker, who'd earlier been stripped of financial authority by the City Council.

The website provides no details of underlying specifics, but posts copies of charges filed against Taylor by Prosecutor Thomas Deen of tampering with public records and abuse of office.

The charges say he made a false entry in public records and did an unauthorized act to the "pecuniary benefit" of another person.

Residents recently appeared at a Monticello council meeting to call for Tucker's resignation. At that meeting Tucker said, in response to reports of some $300,000 in missing city money, that no money had been stolen or embezzled and he intended to remain in office. State Police have been investigating.

Earlier reports raised questions about a check apparently signed by Tucker for an expenditure from the city's economic development fund. The engineering firm to whom the check was written didn't do work on the project for which the check was supposedly directed, Deen said at the time.

The Advance-Monticellonian reported a comment from Tucker's attorney:

In response to the filing, Tucker's attorney, Hani Hashem, said late Friday afternoon: "People should understand that this is just a charging document. The Mayor has been convicted of nothing at this time. In fact, he is not accused of any theft or personal gain. Mayor Tucker will continue to serve the citizens of this community while the process plays out. We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the City Council and proper authorities to resolve this matter in a manner that is professional and in the best interests of Monticello."

Tucker was named one of Arkansas Business's "Twenty In Their 20s" after he was elected mayor in 2014 at age 25. This year, he's been the target of a recall drive. Correction made title of recognition


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