Mayor asks independent investigation of LRWU | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mayor asks independent investigation of LRWU

Posted By on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Mayor Mark Stodola, at the city board's agenda meeting this afternoon, said he wants Police Chief Stuart Thomas to investigate Little Rock Wastewater's report of vandalism that it said prompted moving an administrator to treatment plant property.

John Jarratt, who is now acting administrative head of the utility since CEO Reggie Corbitt was placed on administrative leave this afternoon, told a Democrat-Gazette reporter asking why the utility spent nearly $12,000 to move a trailer owned by Stan Miller to the Fourche Dam Wastewater Treatment Facility that there had been vandalism on the site, including signs shot out and shell casings found in employees' cars. The utility did not report the vandalism to police. Miller has also been placed on leave.

Stodola wants the chief to investigate both the vandalism and why the utility did not report it. He said he thought an investigation independent of the one the Sanitary Sewer Committee has launched was appropriate.

Also at the agenda meeting, City Director Dean Kumpuris said he thought the board should consider a libel lawsuit over an article that appeared in the Dec. 5 issue of the Democrat about Little Rock taxpayers' share of pension costs. The article quoted Boston College researchers as saying that Little Rock taxpayer revenue going to pension plans — 17.6 percent — was the highest compared to 172 other cities across the country. "I'm open to any other option to how to get these people to right their wrong," Kumpuris said, but he though litigation was an option. 

Stodola termed the report "irresponsible" and said it "lumped in a variety of local government pension plans" with no regard to how the funding is paid through dedicated millages. The mayor said he hoped the college would issue a clarification and an apology. 

The Democrat did run a correction on the following day saying Little Rock was not at the top of the scale, but members of the board weren't satisfied. 

Director Stacy Hurst asked Moore to provide his own analysis of taxpayer funding of pensions. 

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