Lawmakers OK fresh audit into Arkansas PBS’ purchases, procedures as far back as July 2021

BY: - November 9, 2023

Arkansas lawmakers asked the state’s nonpartisan auditing body on Thursday to examine more than two years of “procurements and related processes” at Arkansas PBS. The request comes after the state’s regularly scheduled fiscal year 2022 audit into the publicly funded educational channel revealed what auditors considered questionable purchasing practices. At the heart of lawmakers’ and […]

Ousted Little Rock housing commissioners claim breach of due process; judge will rule by December

BY: - October 31, 2023

A Pulaski County circuit judge will decide by early December whether Little Rock officials denied due process to two former members of the governing board of the city’s public housing agency in September. Six of the city’s 10 directors voted Sept. 26 to remove Leta Anthony and Lee Lindsey from the Metropolitan Housing Alliance’s board […]

Arkansas governor answers a couple of lectern questions

BY: - October 17, 2023

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that her office followed “standard protocol” in purchasing a lectern that prompted controversy and resulted in an ongoing legislative audit. She also offered a few examples of what made the lectern so expensive. The governor’s office paid more than $19,000 for the lectern in June, purchasing it from an […]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders addresses the crowd after she was sworn in as the 47th Governor of Arkansas in January 2023. (Karen E. Segrave/Arkansas Advocate)

Questions remain in ongoing scrutiny of Arkansas governor’s purchase of $19K lectern

BY: - October 5, 2023

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her staff this week continued to defend her office’s purchase of a $19,000 lectern, which has been widely criticized on social media and is the subject of an upcoming legislative audit, but many questions have continued to go unanswered. Why was the lectern so expensive? Did members of the […]

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands at a lecturn that looks similar to one her office paid $19,000 for this summer.

Whistleblower’s attorney claims Arkansas governor’s office altered, withheld public records

BY: - September 29, 2023

An anonymous whistleblower claims Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ office improperly altered and withheld public records related to ongoing scrutiny of the office’s spending, according to the whistleblower’s attorney. Rogers-based attorney Tom Mars sent a letter Friday to state Sen. Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, offering his client’s testimony and documents to aid a requested legislative audit. […]

Little Rock directors oust two board members at struggling public housing authority

BY: - September 26, 2023

The Little Rock board of directors removed two members from the governing board of the city’s federally-funded public housing authority at a special-call meeting Tuesday. Lee Lindsey and Leta Anthony were the chair and vice chair of the five-member board of commissioners at the Housing Authority of the City of Little Rock, known as the […]

“Troubled” Little Rock public housing agency plans to address local and federal officials’ concerns

BY: - September 20, 2023

Little Rock’s federally funded public housing authority board plans to address the wide range of concerns federal officials raised in August regarding the agency’s management, according to a letter from the board chairman to the local U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development field office. The five-member board of commissioners overseeing the Housing Authority of […]

Arkansas PBS Executive Director and CEO Courtney Pledger (left) and Chief Financial Officer Karen Watkins appear before the Standing Committee on State Agencies of the Arkansas Legislative Audit Committee on Aug. 10, 2023. (Screenshot from Arkansas Legislature video)

Arkansas lawmakers pause approval of pay hike for state PBS director, pending audit resolution

BY: - August 23, 2023

An Arkansas legislative panel on Wednesday delayed a decision on a merit pay hike for the chief of Arkansas PBS until a pending audit is completed. Courtney Pledger, the CEO and executive director of the Arkansas educational TV network, was up for a 5% merit increase that would make her new salary $188,998. That is […]