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Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 1:36 p.m.

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Grants poorly tracked, says witness in kickback trial of former Arkansas legislator

By Doug Thompson

This article was published April 17, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

former-state-sen-jon-woods-right

Former state Sen. Jon Woods (right)

FAYETTEVILLE -- The agency responsible for administering General Improvement Fund grants in Northwest Arkansas did a lousy job of tracking the money, its deputy director testified Monday.

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Print Headline: Witness: Grants poorly tracked; Oversight focus of kickback trial

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Comments on: Grants poorly tracked, says witness in kickback trial of former Arkansas legislator

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JMort69 says... April 17, 2018 at 7:39 a.m.

The all-important role of legislators who directed these grants is the big question. Those, like Bob Ballinger who now wants to be my state senator, guided these grants to questionable entities like Ecclesia. And, in Ballinger's case, was the title attorney for a real estate deal involving lands acquired under these allegedly illegal circumstances. I established a small non-profit and have studied grant writing for its benefit. In general, grants are very restricted and documentation is vital to keeping the grant monies. So why was our tax money treated with such disregard by these legislators and development districts? I guess none of these people thought anyone would ever know. Funny how things have a way of coming out in this techie age. We see the same pattern here as we saw in the Jake Files GIF scam. All of the conspirators in this instance deserve the same treatment, including Ballinger. And, where is the governor, Speaker Gillam and Senate Pres. Dismang in all of this? This happened on their watches, right under their noses. The governor's nephew is Cranford's divorce attorney. Are they going to try to say they knew nothing? Sorry, that just won't fly. Governor Hutchinson was a federal prosecutor. Had he been told to be silent while the investigation was on-going or did he just decide to ignore this mess because his family was involved? Ballinger is Hutchinson's hand-picked candidate to defeat Bryan King. Unlike Ballinger, King doesn't roll over and do whatever the governor dictates. It is very clear that the governor will do anything and ignore whatever is necessary to get his way. Maybe that works for Hutchinson, but we the people don't turn a blind eye so easily. Especially when it is our hard earned tax money going down these black holes. Thankfully, the voters have the final say in these matters and we had better step up to the plate because you can bet, none of these dirty politicians are going to.

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FayFan says... April 17, 2018 at 9:52 a.m.

JMort is spot-on. My question too: how can it be that little do-gooder non-profits, many with all-volunteer "staff," have to jump through and over all kinds of hoops and hurdles to receive usually modest sums of grant monies, and then they must account for every penny received; yet the people elected to uphold the law pull a scheme like this one? Disheartening indeed. May the net sweep wide and catch ALL the big bad fish, and then let's vote them out of office.

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