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Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 5:31 a.m.

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Former chief living in house at Conway center moves out

By Mary Hargrove

This article was published July 26, 2002 at 5:00 a.m.

Bob Clark, former superintendent of the Conway Human Development Center, has moved off the center grounds.

The decision to allow Clark to remain in the superintendent's house after his resignation June 30 was criticized last week by state legislators during a personnel subcommittee meeting.

Clark asked to remain in the house until Aug. 30 when a house he is building in Centerville is completed.

That request was part of termination negotiations with the Developmental Disabilities Services Board and the state Department of Human Services. Both entities oversee the state's human development centers.

"Ron Carmack [Developmental Disabilities Services Board chairman] called Monday and said that Bob was out of the house," said John Selig, Human Services Department deputy director.

"We did not contact anybody and say 'Get him out,' " Selig added.

State Sen. Percy Malone, DArkadelphia, and other legislators complained about the accommodation for Clark. They contended that the Human Services Department bent rules to create an "extra-help" job to allow Clark to continue living in the house and get other benefits such as health insurance.

The arrangement does not violate state law, but extra-help positions are normally used for direct care of clients, Selig told the subcommittee.

The Conway center has been investigated seven times by state officials and three times by federal officials since February 2001 on allegations of failing to protect its nearly 600 residents who are mentally and physically disabled.

After the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette raised questions about sexually active residents preying on other residents and the failure to report abuse at the Conway center, Human Services Department officials told Clark he had to resign or be fired.

It is not clear when Clark moved out of the house.

Calvin Price, interim superintendent for the Conway center, said Clark is not at the center and is not making decisions about the residents.

"I truly don't even know how to get ahold of Bob," said Price, who also said he did not know when Clark moved.

Clark could not be reached for comment.

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