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Lawmakers probe missing money from PPD

By John Miller, 11/6/17 1:17 PM

12-30TERRY OLIVER 001

PRESCOTT – Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver’s trip to Little Rock Friday was anything but pleasant.

Oliver had been called to the capitol to answer questions concerning why Connie Beard is still employed by the City of Prescott after being suspected of taking $38,078 from fine accounts while working with the Prescott Police Department. Beard has been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 23.

Oliver said he answered 40-50 questions lawmakers posed, mostly concerning why charges haven’t been filed and why she’s still employed by the city. He said, in an interview Monday, Beard hasn’t been charged with a crime yet.

He told the lawmakers the timeline that led up to the missing money being discovered, saying she quit working with the PPD as administrative assistant in Dec. 2016 because she and former Chief Brian Russell couldn’t get along. Russell, Oliver said, had come to his office and said he’d asked Beard to either resign or be fired because she’d allegedly “given away” a drug raid. However, Oliver said there was no evidence of this for either the PPD or Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. As the code enforcement position was open, he offered Beard that job.

Beverly Evans was hired as the new administrative assistant for the PPD in Jan. 2017 and went to Russell about money that appeared to be missing. A legislative audit was done, as was an investigation by the Arkansas State Police. The audit showed $38,078 missing from fine and bond accounts. The ASP turned its information over to the office of the Eighth District Prosecuting Attorney.

During the questioning by lawmakers, Oliver said they asked why the city’s auditors, Turner-Rogers-Manning and Plyler of Arkadelphia, hadn’t caught the discrepancy. According to Oliver, this firm has been doing the city’s audit since 1978 and hadn’t found any evidence of missing money in the past.

The lawmakers voted to file a report on the meeting and Oliver’s testimony. Oliver said a decision will be made on Beard’s employment after the prosecuting attorney decides whether or not to file charges in this case.

  • Sam Smith

    but yet is still employed by the city of prescott. She must have some good dirt on the mayor. why haven’t charges been filed? and she resigned from the PPD and was given a job at city hall. that says it all right there. She has something on oliver and if she is fired oliver will have hell to pay..smh…

  • Vera Hopson Jefferson

    Charge her if she was black would have been charge and fired,no leave no pay