Hardy officer fired over 'suspicious' payroll issue

HARDY, AR (KAIT) - The Hardy Police Department is down an officer after Mayor Jason Jackson fired Scott Hart on Friday.

The Hardy City Council met Tuesday night to discuss Hart's termination.

Hart wrote a letter of appeal to the council Tuesday night, asking them to reinstate his position and saying in part, "I would respectfully appreciate to be afforded the opportunity to express my concerns and the facts regarding the matter at hand."

Hart began working with the department in July 2016.

After meeting in an executive session, they voted to take no action.

According to Hardy Police Chief Tamara Taylor, the mayor's decision stands, but she disagrees with his actions.

Taylor told Region 8 News that Hart's termination puts a strain on their department and their ability to secure and protect the Hardy community.

"It is a lot more stressful but I want to ensure that the community is taken care of to the best of our ability," Taylor said. "The community is gonna come first always with me. I will not let the community be unserved. I will be out here if it means 24 hours a day, I will be out here to do what's best for them."

Taylor said Hart was an excellent officer who served the community well in a number of different types of cases.

With Hart's termination, the Hardy Police Department has two officers, including Chief Taylor.

Region 8 News has reached out to Hardy Mayor Jason Jackson for comment. He would not give a reason for firing Hart.

But recorder/treasurer for the City of Hardy, Greg Bess, responded to a Freedom of Information Act Request Wednesday afternoon saying he discovered suspicious accounting and payroll issues that involve Hart; his wife, who was the former city clerk at the time of the incident; the police chief; and the former recorder/treasurer.

No documents have been sent to Region 8 News yet. Hart's personnel records were also requested.

Former Hardy Police Chief Scott Rose was fired by Mayor Jackson in January of 2017.

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