Mississippi County Finance Committee takes precautions in landfill investigation

Mississippi County Finance Committee takes precautions in landfill investigation

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Mississippi County is taking action after a state audit suggests nepotism in the Landfill Department.

According to the cover letter attached to the state audit, the county is not in compliance with accounting practices in the office of the county judge.

The landfill department falls under control of the judge's office.

The letter states the county is doing business with Hollister Industrial out of Branson, Missouri, a company owned and operated by the brother of a Mississippi County landfill department employee.

Rick Mosley, owner of Hollister, is the brother of Mike Mosley who is currently employed by the county landfill.

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington approved an investigation into the county for this issue after the connection came to light.

According to finance committee chairman Michael White, the finance committee budgets money for certain departments each year.

The committee periodically checks to make sure funds are being used appropriately.

White said the committee did red flag the landfill budget earlier when they saw the department was spending a large amount of money on parts and repairs, specifically with the company out of Branson.

He looked into the issue and was reassured by the judge and department that spending was necessary. The judge said the company is actually saving the county money.

The judge told White the parts and repairs for the landfill cost a lot. White said this is one of the reasons the landfill department's budget is so large.

White also told Region 8 News the county knew there was a family connection with Hollister Industrial.

Per state law, anytime a company is contracted with family ties, the county must acknowledge the relationship, make sure there are no conflicts and document it.

The county documented the relationship, but did not know Rick Mosley was the owner of the company. White said the county court thought he was only an employee at Hollister.

According to White, the court found out about the actual connection when the audit came in.

The committee unanimously agreed Monday to retract the ordinance allowing the county to do business with Hollister Industrial.

"We stop doing business with Hollister until we know exactly what's going on with this Arkansas State Police investigation. If there is something wrong then let's stop it now and if there's nothing wrong then we can go back and redo," White said.

White said an new ordinance will be written in the next week to retract the current ordinance allowing business with Hollister Industrial.

The court will present the new ordinance at the next meeting in October.

The Arkansas State Police investigation is still ongoing at this time.

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