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The chief executive officer of Jonesboro-based Tiger Correctional Services has agreed in a settlement of an ethics complaint to be sanctioned with a public letter of caution for not complying with lobbyist registration and reporting requirements.

Chad Niell of Jonesboro spent more than $400 over three months on food for public officials, according to the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

Niell agreed to findings by the commission that he met the definition of a lobbyist under Arkansas Code Annotated 21-8-402 (11) and that he failed to comply with the registration requirements under statute 21-8-601 and 21-8-602 and with the reporting requirements under statute 21-8-603 and 21-8-604, commission Director Graham Sloan said in a letter dated Oct. 19.

"It is noted that the investigation showed that you spent in excess of $400 in the second quarter of 2018 for lobbying efforts by your business ... in the form of food provided to public servants, specifically to attendees of the Jail Administrators training held in April of 2018 and to members of the Arkansas Sheriffs' Association in June of 2018," Sloan wrote in his letter. Ray Hackworth filed the complaint against Niell.

Tiger Correctional Services provides federal, state and county correctional facilities with inmate food service, inmate commissary, inmate banking and accounting software, and jail management system software, according to its website.

Niell said Tuesday in a written statement to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that "in a 3-2 vote, the commission determined that I engaged in lobbying activity because I cooked a lunch for the Arkansas Sheriffs' Association golf tournament and I provided one meal to the weeklong Arkansas Jail Administrators' training course with 5 other vendors [whose] actions were ignored.

"I have accepted a letter of caution from the commission. Going forward, my company will register as a lobbyist so that we can continue to support local and state law enforcement in the future," Niell wrote in his statement.

Metro on 10/24/2018

Print Headline: CEO faces state rebuke over ethics

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