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State architect board’s director now off payroll after failing to appear before panel to discuss critical audit

by Michael R. Wickline | January 24, 2020 at 7:16 a.m.
FILE — The state Capitol is shown in this file photo.

The executive director of the state Board of Architects, Landscape Architects and Interior Designers resigned last month after failing to appear before a legislative committee to respond to a critical audit, state lawmakers learned Thursday.

Executive Director Kingsley Glasgow resigned effective Dec. 13, after not showing up at the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee's Committee on State Agencies meeting on Dec. 12, Deputy Legislative Auditor Tom Bullington said.

"We were unable to get responses to our findings from the previous director," Bullington told the state agencies committee. "However, the Department of Labor and Licensing has responded to the findings since our December meeting."

Glasgow was paid an annual salary of $96,038 and was the board's executive director for about 15 years, according to department officials.

Daryl Bassett, secretary of the state Department of Labor and Licensing that oversees the board, told lawmakers, "I just want to certainly apologize to the ... co-chairmen, the members of the committee and also members of the auditing committee for our failure to respond to these audit findings previously.

"We certainly concur with these findings," he said. "Our responses ... should serve as assurance that we are on top of this and don't expect this to happen again."

The department's managers anticipated that Glasgow would appear before the committee on Dec. 12, according to a three-page letter from the department.

"When Mr. Glasgow failed to appear, Secretary Bassett requested an immediate meeting with him. Mr. Glasgow did not agree to meet [and] instead submitted a letter of resignation," the department said in its letter to the committee. "On Dec. 13, 2019, Mr. Glasgow's access to agency electronic records was revoked and the locks on the offices were changed."

In a Dec. 13 letter, Glasgow said he irrevocably resigned, describing it as a "difficult, but necessary decision to pursue what is best for myself and my family.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the state of Arkansas and work to protect the health, safety and welfare of the good people of our state," Glasgow wrote to the board's interim president, William Hall. "During my time with the board, I can genuinely say that my colleagues and I worked each day to make Arkansas an even greater state."

Sen. Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, praised Bassett "for the way you handled that because we did have a lot of questions last time. While the gentleman was not here, I am glad that all worked itself out."

Arkansas Legislative Audit found that 13 credit card statements totaling more than $31,000 did not include evidence of management approval before payment was made. The audit also found that expenditures totaling $9,466 had inadequate receipts or were improperly paid from quotes.

Auditors said the board didn't comply with Arkansas Code Annotated 19-4-1103, which states that the executive head of an agency is responsible for establishing procedures and controls to ensure accurate payment of obligations, management approval of expenditures and retention of supporting invoices.

Hickey asked Bassett, "Have you looked at these payments that were made on his credit card statement?

"I believe some of them didn't have adequate receipts and everything," Hickey said. "Are we 100% sure that those were used for the correct thing and that nothing else was transpiring there? Have we delved into that any?"

Bassett said, "We are in the process of doing that, sir.

"My CFO has taken control of the financial operations of that agency and we have looked into those 13 credit card statements," he said. "I am sure you are referring to the $31,000 that did not have evidence of approval before. They were legitimate expenditures. They didn't have backup documentation as the internal controls would dictate. Yes, sir, we have satisfied ourselves that at least those particular findings are good."

He said the other expenditures continued to be under investigation.

Auditors also found that the board failed to comply with a regulation limiting the board to employing contract labor to six consecutive weeks per calendar quarter; failed to adhere to state travel regulations; made seven purchases totaling $5,493 that "could be considered wasteful since they have no apparent business purpose or provide no benefit to the state;" and didn't provide requested minutes of board meetings held after April 26, 2018.

Metro on 01/24/2020

Print Headline: Panel's no-show now off payroll


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