K8 News Investigates Jonesboro Mayoral Race - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Melissa Simas reports

K8 News Investigates Jonesboro Mayoral Race

October 20, 2004 -- Posted 6:30 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- The Jonesboro Mayoral race keeps grabbing the attention of residents in the community, as K8 news investigates the candidates.

The information obtained by K8 News is all public record. Our search into all 7 candidates took us to the Jonesboro City Hall, the Circuit Clerk's office, the Federal Building and the Jonesboro Police Department. Of the 7 candidates, we found information on 4, and each was given an opportunity to respond.

As part of his campaign platform, Travis Moore is proposing bringing the city up to technological standards. Moore is the owner of TNT Technologies, LLC in Jonesboro. A search of public records at the Circuit Clerk's office reveals he is currently involved in a lawsuit with a company called Tesco. The company is suing Moore for over $20,000. The complaint states Moore is indebted to plaintiff for goods, services, wares and merchandise sold. Moore says the lawsuit is all a big mistake.

"There was a company by the name of Clear Wave that declared bankruptcy, and they have a similar name as my company name and so I think some of the people that they may have done business with are pursuing them with frivolous lawsuits," said Moore.

As part of this investigation, Moore provided us with documentation showing similar lawsuits against his company have also been dismissed.

"This is a separate entity and I have had to go prove that to them and they have dismissed it in court," said Moore.

At the last two mayoral debates Kevin Rhodes has said he worked for the Jonesboro Police Department. Rhodes has not told the public that he also resigned from that position in 1999. Police records show he resigned after a female co-worker filed a complaint alleging he had sent her an inappropriate email. When asked to respond to his resignation, Rhodes declined to go on record.

Additional Circuit Clerk records from the year 2000 show Rhodes was forced to pay the Rome Finance Company Inc. over $4,000 for jewelry that was not paid. In a phone interview, he told us the matter was taken care and the debt was settled.

As a member of the Jonesboro Police Department, Doug Formon maintains he's been writing grants for the Police Department since the latter part of 2001. A look at an independent auditors report obtained from City Hall shows in 2002 financial status reports for the Police Department were turned in late under Formon's watch.

"When I took over for the grants, I told the Finance Director Larry Flowers that I felt like a CPA should be in charge of the back end of the grants on the financial reporting part because it took the knowledge of a CPA to actually file those papers," said Formon.

The report goes on to say future grants could have been denied. In addition the auditor's recommendation states management should supervise the employee responsible for preparing and submitting the report.

"Once they took my advice on that and the CPA David Eagle took that over, since then we've had absolutely no problems whatsoever," said Formon.

Dan Pierce is calling himself the right candidate for the City of Jonesboro. Records show Pierce filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in April of 1991, after serving as president of United Federal S&L, a local savings and loan. The company was later taken over. Several employees lost their jobs.

"This issue as it affects me had nothing to do with me living outside my budget, or spending too lavishly," said Pierce.

Pierce says the federal government came in and took the business away from them, leaving them with no way to recover.

"Our independent auditors said they shouldn't' t have done this," said Pierce.

Pierce resigned from his position as president of the company amid this controversy.

"I was afraid that I made so many people upset inside the regulatory agency that if I moved away they might have allowed the organization to continue to operate," said Pierce.

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