Financial troubles mount for Sen. Jake Files | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Financial troubles mount for Sen. Jake Files

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge QUESTIONS: For Sen. Jake Files.
  • QUESTIONS: For Sen. Jake Files.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning on information dug up thanks to Fort Smith city official diligence of the mounting questions about tstate Sen. Jake Files actions in overseeing building of a $1.6 million sports complex for the city.

It has been pitched by Files as a volunteer effort by a nonprofit organization from which he will make no profit. It has failed to meet construction deadlines.

The latest news is the finding of irregularities in bidding documents for subcontractors, which Files apparently prepared. The legitimacy of the bids and the subcontractors themselves seem to be open to question.

Files also has been tapping General Improvement Fund money that he controls to support payments to his nonprofit. In all, the city has advanced Files more than $1 million for the incomplete project.

As recently as December, Files was seeking more GIF money for the work. This is state surplus, divided upby legislators in a process that has been challenged in court as unconstitutional. Former Rep. Micah Neal recently pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from GIF money he'd directed to nonprofit groups and other legislators had roles in directing significant sums to the same nonprofits. No one else has been charged.

If ever there was a time to look pure on GIF money, that time has been in recent months, given the ongoing federal probe of GIF spending.

Legislation in Joint Budget that I've seen recently provides a vehicle to continue the General Improvement Fund category in some fashion, though the surplus on which the pork barrel has relied in the past may not be available this year. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he wants to put an end to the pork barreling. Legislators are addicted however.

Files' financial difficulties burst into the news last year when we reported that lobbyist Bruce Hawkins had made him a $30,000 personal loan that helped Files deal with business liens.


Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • North Little Rock mayor shows downtown plaza plan

    North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith is presenting a plan to the City Council tonight for a downtown plaza meant to augment planned private developments and further enhanced downtown as a destination.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Attorney general asks for continued secrecy on execution drugs

    As expected, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked the Arknasas Supreme Court for an "emergency stay" of a lower court ruling that the Correction Department must produce labels from one of the drugs used in executions.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Groups seek end to commercial collection of wild turtles

    Several environmental organizations to end commercial turtle collection in Arkansas.The harvests (more than 126,000 turtles from 2014 to 2016) are not sustainable and that, in turn, is damaging to ecosystems, the groups said.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • 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
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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