Favorite

UA, UCA exempt from conflict-of-interest law 

JAMES E. LINDSEY: UA trustee.
  • JAMES E. LINDSEY: UA trustee.
The Arkansas Times’ Insider column Aug. 18 pointed out that John David Lindsey, a subcontractor who installed artificial turf for the University of Arkansas football practice field at Fayetteville, is the son of James E. Lindsey, a member of the UA Board of Trustees. An earlier Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article about a dispute between the UA and private companies over alleged improper installation of the turf had not mentioned this connection. One of the companies blames John David Lindsey for any improper installation. The UA holds Lindsey blameless and says he only followed procedures given him by the other companies. Subsequently, the Times found time to ask about the legality, or propriety, of university trustees and their families doing business with the institutions they serve. Scott Varady, associate general counsel for the UA, said that Lindsey family involvement with the turf project was legitimate because 1) the Razorback Foundation, a private group that supports UA athletics, paid the bill, not the university itself, 2) the company that did the work, JDL Leasing, is owned by John David Lindsey, and his father has no financial interest in it, and 3) the company did the work at cost, and therefore no profit came to either Lindsey. Varady did not mention — may not have known — that even if Lindsey had owned part of his son’s company, and even if the University rather than the Razorback Foundation had paid for the turf installation, Lindsey still would not have been in violation of the law. Although state law prohibits the trustees of other four-year state universities from doing business with their institutions, the University of Arkansas system is exempt, for reasons that are unclear. The trustees of two-year colleges also are allowed to do business with their institutions. The situation is changing, though. Not by extending the law to cover the UA system and the two-year colleges, as one might expect, but by exempting the other institutions from the law. Lu Hardin, president of the University of Central Arkansas at Conway, said he learned of the quirk in the law when UCA wanted to purchase an apartment complex adjacent to the campus, but one of its trustees would have had an interest in the transaction. “To avoid a conflict of interest, the apartments were purchased by the UCA Foundation, which is a separate entity and has a separate board,” he said. But Hardin wanted the same exemption for UCA that UA and the two-year colleges have. If UCA had a banker on its board, for example, and the banker would lend the institution money at a lower rate than anyone else, UCA should be able to take advantage of that opportunity, Hardin said. He called on local legislators and they introduced a bill in the 2005 legislative session removing from the state law governing UCA trustees a provision that required them to swear “that he or she will not be or become interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract made by the board.” Similar language is in the laws governing the boards of the other four-year state institutions, except for the UA system, Hardin said. The UCA exemption was approved and is now Act 891 of 2005. “Late in the session, several other universities asked if we could amend our bill to include them, but it was too late,” Hardin said. “I suspect next session, they will want the same exemption.” It seems likely.
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Kanis development decried

    Fletcher Hollow wrong place for density, neighbors tell LR planners.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen dismisses execution challenge; says hands tied by 'shameful' Ark. Supreme Court ruling

    Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled today that he had no choice based on  a past Arkansas Supreme Court decision  but to dismiss a lawsuit by Death Row inmates seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process.But the judge did so unhappily with sharp criticism of the Arkansas Supreme Court for failing to address critical points raised in the lawsuit.
  • Metroplan sets public hearing on 30 Crossing

    The controversial 30 Crossing project to fatten up seven miles of Interstate 30 from U.S. Highway 67 in North Little Rock to Interstate 530 in Little Rock will once again get a public hearing, thanks to a vote of the Metroplan board Wednesday.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Visit Arkansas

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal

Event Calendar

« »

March

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Suffer the immigrants

    Since the election of Donald Trump, undocumented immigrants and the groups that work with them in Arkansas are dealing with a wave of fear.
  • Arkansas treats children of same-sex couples differently from other kids

    With the legislature refusing to correct the law, the fight is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Never enough for the NRA

    Also, execution dates draw near, no justice and more.
  • Workers lose

    The Republicans' House Bill 1405 (on its way to the governor as this is written) would reduce a worker's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits from 20 to 16 weeks.
  • Testing, testing

    Junior, that peach-fuzzed philosopher of Maple Street, who stands now head and shoulders taller than the mother who birthed him 17 years and change ago and eye to eye with his old man, got his ACT test results in the other day.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation