MLK Commission slapped on wrist | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 8, 2008

MLK Commission slapped on wrist

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2008 at 5:28 PM

The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission could not properly verify $485 in credit card purchases over the past two years, said a new Legislative Audit report released today. The report covered the period up to June 30, 2007. Deputy Legislative Auditor Ronald Burch said he also looked into records up to March of this year, when Dushun Scarbrough became the commission's new executive director, and found no additional discrepancies. Charges that Legislative Audit found to be of dubious business purpose included purchases of meals, software, storage boxes and a hotel stay in West Memphis.

This is a fairly mild finding that should cause the MLK Commission -- and some who have left the commission over the past two years -- to breath a sigh of relief. Current Executive Director Scarbrough gave the commission's testimony at a Legislative Joint Auditing Committee meeting, but to the side of the room sat Sen. Tracy Steele and Jerelyn Duncan, both of whom ran the commission at some point during the investigation's focus period. Odd that they would not be called to testify. Burch said it's standard practice to have only current commission heads come before the Audit Committee.

More coverage of King Commission bickering here.

Scarbrough said he was satisfied with the results of the audit. He said he had not heard anything from the State Police about an ongoing theft from the MLK Commission's headquarters.

In an Insider item this week, we mentioned that there were three charges to Steele's commission credit card made after he resigned as executive director. After the hearing today, Steele said he didn't use the card after his resignation and that the charges were made by someone else. The charges were not listed among those the Division of Legislative Audit considered questionable.

I will add that there appear to be issues the audit did not address. During testimony, Scarbrough said that bills continue to come in to the commission that he hadn't expected. He's paying them from a $6,000 supplemental budget request he made in March. But what happened to  the budgeted money that was supposed to pay these bills? The commission got a $60,000 influx of cash in December 2007. Why did that not suffice?

More from the annals of waste and inefficiency: An audit of the Arkansas State Board of Massage Therapy showed that $16,948 of disbursements and $6,426 of travel expenditures had not been properly documented over a two-year period. The massage board spent $8,068 for cell phone use over the same time frame.

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by John C. Williams

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



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