Legislature grazes surface of state favoritism | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Legislature grazes surface of state favoritism

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 6:24 AM

ANOTHER CHAPTER: Bill Walker gets unflattering attention again.
  • ANOTHER CHAPTER: Bill Walker gets unflattering attention again.
Lots of coverage of a legislative review yesterday of the hiring of an unqualified interpreter for the deaf in the Department of Career Education, headed by former legislator and inside political player Bill Walker.

Channel 4 coverage here.

Channel 7, which developed the story, here.

I agree with one of the lame defenses made for Bill Walker, who had a previous association through his funeral home business with the person hired. Legislative committees don't need as a rule to be getting into hiring decisions of executive agencies, much as this smelly deal begged for exposure. What's needed is some sorely lacking executive leadership.

Walker's tenure at the state agency has produced a steady stream of complaints about favoritism in hiring and contracting. He's done real estate business with friends. He lost a lawsuit for trying to shut down a whistleblower in Hot Springs. Just last week his department pushed through a $360,000 ad contract that ended up with an agency headed by the brother of his friend and state legislative colleague, Rep. Tracy Steele. Yes, it scored highest in an evaluation of competing bids (the others slightly lower in prices) — the evaluation done by employees of Walker. Walker has spent a healthy amount on fancy offices for himself and Rehab director Robert Trevino, himself another source of employee complaints. The governor is well aware of all this. He's apparently happy with Walker, who switched from supporting a Republican governor to supporting Beebe in 2006, when the future governor didn't have a lot of support in the black community.

Every time another questionable deal by Walker arises I think of his race for Little Rock mayor.

UPDATE: Jason Pederson of Channel 7, who broke this story, compiled a partial transcript of yesterday's hearing, including Walker's complaints about treatment by the press. Here it is.

Tags: , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Suddenly, Rutledge is interested in state's terrible landlord-tenant law

    Crocodile tears from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on the state's terrible landlord-tenant law. Given a chance to do something meaningful about it before, however, she didn't.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • Reports filed on casino amendment

    Initial financial reports have been filed by groups pushing a casino expansion amendment and the major financial force so far is the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma, which is in the casino business. Another Oklahoma tribe, a gambling machine organization and a Mississippi gambling enterprise also are listed.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    Trump getting trashed for cozying up to Putin, from Fox News to John McCain. Now Arkansans are being heard from. Example from Sen. John Boozman: "Russia is not our friend."
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • 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

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    • Thanks, Cato! I think your quote bears repeating: "I have President Putin, he just said…

    • on July 16, 2018
  • Re: Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    • The state's congressional delegation has the collective backbone of a gnat. Seriously, when are they…

    • on July 16, 2018
  • Re: Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    • I think what guywhore is getting at is that Trump's long game has been imparted…

    • on July 16, 2018



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