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

  • Ethics Commission to review illegal contribution to Leslie Rutledge

    Blue Hog Report says that the Ethics Commission has confirmed it will investigate what appears to be a clear ethics law violation he found in Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's campaign records — a May 21 contribution of $2,700 from the Republican Attorneys General Association eight days before the PAC was registered in the state.
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Jared Henderson calls on Hutchinson administration to stop 'demeaning' teachers

    Jared Henderson, the Democratic candidate for governor, has blasted the move by Education Commissioner Johnny Key to weaken job protection for certain Little Rock School District teachers. He says it's of a piece with Gov. Asa Hutchinson's "empty rhetoric" about education.
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Tuesday: News roundup and open line

    Here's the open line. Also today's news and comment.
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • More »

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
  • French Hill votes against disaster aid to Puerto Rico

    Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill alone among Arkansas's House delegation voted last week against a measure that provided $36.5 billion in disaster aid, a portion  for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as well as money for wildfire response and to support the flood insurance program.
    • Oct 14, 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

Slideshows

  • 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