Former forestry finance chief Robert Araiza retires | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 9, 2012

Former forestry finance chief Robert Araiza retires

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM

RETIRED: Robert Araiza
  • RETIRED: Robert Araiza
Robert Araiza, the financial officer who was in the middle of the controversy over financial shortfalls at the Arkansas Forestry Commission, apparently has taken state retirement. It appears he left under pressure from the governor's office.

He had left Forestry in October as the controversy began simmering and took a job as chief financial manager at the Arkansas Career Education Department's Rehabilitation Services Division. He retired this week after 27 years with the state, a source of mine said. I'm having trouble getting comments from the agency and the governor's office, but a person who answered the phone in Araiza's former office said he'd retired and she had no idea how to reach him.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Career Education said:

Mr. Araiza submitted his letter of retirement effective today, March 9. His letter of retirement was accepted by the agency. Any further comment will have to come from Mr. Araiza.

John Shannon earlier resigned under pressure as head of Forestry. Shannon had said he'd relied on advice from Araiza in borrowing from federal funds to meet agency bills, transfers that were improper. A state audit was critical of Forestry practices. Araiza didn't endear himself to the Beebe administration by blaming the governor's office for putting off a discussion of the agency's need for more money because of coming 2010 elections. You really had to wonder how welcome Araiza would be when headlines appeared late in 2011 about Araiza's testimony to the legislature: "Ex-Forestry finance chief suggests Beebe ordered budget woes kept quiet." He said he'd warned Shannon for four years about money problems.

“The more I brought it to their attention, the more it fell on deaf ears,” Araiza said at the time.

UPDATE II: I asked for a comment from the governor's office. Spokesman Matt DeCample replied:

After the Legislative Audit report was released, Governor Beebe met with [Career Education] Director [Bill] Walker and shared the audit results with him. Beebe advised Walker that based on the audit, it would probably be best to not have Mr. Araiza handling fiscal matters at the agency, and to move him to another position if he was going to remain at Career Education.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation