Ark. auditors told county officials took advice

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The top official of the Arkansas Association of Counties says elected county officials who retired and returned to work to draw both pensions and paychecks without resigning from office did so in good faith as a practice allowed by a state retirement system.

Eddie Jones, executive director of the counties group, told the Legislative Joint Audit Committee on Friday that the officials shouldn't have their retirements reversed and be forced to pay the pension funds back. He said the bottom line was that the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System gave some bad advice.

Jones said that agency should shoulder responsibility rather than blaming someone else. Meanwhile, Jefferson County Assessor Larry Fratesi said he plans to resign from the retirement system's board of directors. --- Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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