7:40 P.M. UPDATE
The Little Rock Wastewater Sanitary Sewer Committee has voted to terminate Chief Executive Officer Reggie Corbitt.
The move came after the seven-member board met in executive session during its meeting Wednesday night.
Corbitt had been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 10, a day after an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story showed he approved an arrangement in which Operations Manager Stan Miller lived on utility property at a cost of more than $15,000 in public funds. Miller was also placed on administrative leave.
Investigations by police and an independent audit firm began after the article appeared. The police investigation was finished Wednesday and forwarded to the prosecutor's office for possible charges.
Corbitt had agreed to resign from the utility if he his paid through the end of the year including an auto allowance, health coverage and legal expenses, the Democrat-Gazette reported Tuesday.
See Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.
5:10 P.M. UPDATE
The seven-member board of the Little Rock Wastewater Sanitary Sewer Committee did not address recent events involving a high-ranking official within the utility purportedly abusing public funding, along with committing several other infractions, in a Wednesday afternoon meeting.
The board failed to discuss the current investigation into Chief Executive Officer Reggie Corbitt, who was not present at the meeting. The Little Rock Police Department's investigation into Corbitt’s actions was released to the public Wednesday morning.
The committee adjourned from its public meeting before holding an executive session to discuss “personnel issues,” according to committee members. It was not made clear what issues would be discussed.
- David Harten
A case file detailing allegations of "questionable expenditures" by the Little Rock Wastewater Utility will be sent to the prosecuting attorney for consideration of possible charges, according to a report released Wednesday.
The city of Little Rock released the summary of a police investigation into the utility and whether top executives violated the law.
The probe was ordered after stories in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed Chief Executive Officer Reggie Corbitt approved an arrangement in which Operations Manager Stan Miller lived on utility property at a cost of more than $15,000 in public funds.
The police summary lists the total for the living arrangement to be more than $26,000. And it says Miller was asked about using utility funds to construct or improve sites for his RV on two utility properties.
"Mr. Miller states he did in fact use funds for the aforementioned purposes," Police Chief Stuart Thomas wrote in the summary report. "Mr. Miller said these expenditures were authorized by the CEO, Reggie Corbitt."
Investigators also examined what happened to unused pipe that had been left on utility property as well as allegations someone shot at street signs on the grounds of the Fourche Creek Treatment Facility.
City manager Bruce Moore called it "alarming" that weapons were allowed on utility property and he said the report did reveal that "utility funds were used for purposes that are not allowed."
"The misuse of utility dollars is definitely a concern," Moore said. But he stopped short of saying whether he believed a crime took place.
"We'll let Mr. [Prosecuting Attorney Larry] Jegley and his staff review the information and make that determination on charges," Moore said shortly after he forwarded Jegley the summary report.
It wasn't clear when a determination would be made on charges.
The report, addressed to Moore from Thomas, notes that Arkansas law prohibits an "employee of any municipal corporation" from accepting anything from the entity "without paying for it at the same rate and in the same manner that the general public" pays.
The report also notes that Arkansas law prohibits an employee from giving away property belonging to a utility without payment made to the agency as well as discharging a weapon in city limits.
"The Department's case file will be submitted to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for further review and I will advise you of the results of that review," Thomas wrote.
Miller and Corbitt have both been placed on paid administrative leave since December.
Corbitt has agreed to resign from the utility if he his paid through the end of the year including an auto allowance, health coverage and legal expenses, the Democrat-Gazette reported Tuesday.
For more on this story, see Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.