Arming teachers? What about arming the Insurance Department? | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Arming teachers? What about arming the Insurance Department?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 2:47 PM

INSURANCE POSSE: New rides and decals are part of the trappings of a huge increase in security expenditures by the state Insurance Department. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • INSURANCE POSSE: New rides and decals are part of the trappings of a huge increase in security expenditures by the state Insurance Department.

In this day of lean, mean Rep
click to enlarge COMMISSIONER KERR: Security spending 'critical,' he says.
  • COMMISSIONER KERR: Security spending 'critical,' he says.
ublican governance, David Koon has dug up a pretty good example of mean, if not exactly lean, governance.

It's about the Arkansas Insurance Department's expenditure of $163,000 to arm up with guns, ammo, Tasers and other security equpment for an eight-person criminal investigation division, not to mention cars, uniforms and other police finery.

For what? To apprehend fraud suspects, something that has never involved a violent encounter in the agency's history.

Overseeing it all, a security director, Paul "Blue" Keller, who brought two years of full-time experience as a deputy sheriff to a job that now pays him just under $123,000 a year, almost $40,000 more than his predecessor, who held a law degree.

Allen Kerr, a former legislator who is now Insurance commissioner, defends the expenditures. He said they are "critical" to keeping staff safe.

Kerr, by the way, is a frequent traveler himself. His annual financial interest statement reported 10 trips to conventions around the country in which part of the cost was defrayed by others. He's also been working since he took office to get $20 million in state appropriated money for a new office building. Also, yes, those of long memory might remember that Mike Pickens, a former Insurance Commissioner, posed some uncomfortable questions about Kerr's past in the insurance business.

Read David Koon's story. It's an epic list of state agency spending.

Tags: , , ,


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

  • One dead, two wounded in early morning shooting

    KARK's Susanne Brunner reports that one person has been killed and two wounded in a shooting shortly after 1 a.m. this morning near Roosevelt Road and Cross Street.
    • Apr 17, 2019
  • Reality bites at Little Rock City Hall; spending must be cut

    A followup to Rebekah Hall's earlier report on Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.'s announcement that cuts will be necessary in the city budget in part to pay for "priorities," such as his desire to expand the police force, but also to deal with the reality often mentioned here of stagnant to decling city sales tax revenue. Some quick ideas on that:
    • Apr 17, 2019
  • Speaking of hard times in newspapers: Democrat-Gazette's move to digital

    Word continues to filter in of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's pullback from statewide circulation of a print daily edition of the newspaper — the latest from the Hot Springs area, just 50 or so miles down the road from Little Rock. Subscribers there were told home delivery of a print paper would end in May.
    • Apr 16, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation