Appeals Court Allows Jonesboro Hotel Owner to Keep $14,000 Found in Room

NOVEMBER 5, 2004 - Posted at 7:34 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state Court of Appeals says a Jonesboro-based hotel proprietor is the rightful owner of $14,200 in cash that was found by a lodger in a room he was staying in.

The appeals court rejected Alex Franks' claim to the money he found in September 2001 in a cabinet drawer while staying at a Comfort Inn in Searcy and working on a construction job.

The court said the cash qualified as mislaid property that, in effect, was left in the custody of the hotel owner, J.K. Kazi of Jonesboro.  The court said the hotel had been the scene of drug activity in the past.  And Kazi's lawyer, Richard Allen of Newport, said the money most likely had to do with a drug deal.

Kazi also owns hotel properties along Jonesboro's Kazi Drive.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)