BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A county prosecutor in northwest Arkansas has asked Arkansas State Police to investigate financial wrongdoing reported in a recent legislative audit of Cave Springs.
Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith sent a letter Thursday to State Police Director Bill Bryant requesting the investigation, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported . Smith said in the letter that the audit found that Cave Springs officials were overpaid without authorization.
“The audit uncovered the unauthorized over-payment of city officials, alleged misappropriation of city money, and other financial irregularities,” Smith wrote in his letter. “After reviewing the audit, it is apparent to me that further investigation into these issues is warranted.”
City attorney Justin Eichmann said he and Cave Springs officials are focused on fixing the items found in the audit. Eichmann said his goal is to have a clean audit next year and to not repeat mistakes.
“It’s a bad audit, but it’s important for the city to address and fix the problem,” Eichmann said.
Cave Springs Alderman Larry Fletcher said he agrees with the requested investigation.
“A lot of good Cave Springs people have been disrespected as the result of the actions of the elected officials who were found to be at fault in the audit,” Fletcher said. “They had put their full faith and trust in those people to conduct the business of Cave Springs and apparently it wasn’t done. It was negligence, and personally, it’s very embarrassing to see a document like this come out about our city.”
The audit found the city failed to meet state law requirements in more than 20 instances from 2015 through 2016.
Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.nwaonline.com