Report: Audit uncovers questionable spending

Report: Audit uncovers questionable spending
Authorities in White County are investigating an after school program after an audit reportedly uncovered questionable spending. (Source: KATV)

(KAIT/KATV) - State officials and prosecutors are investigating afterschool programs in White County after a state audit found questionable spending.

According to KATV, an investigation by the Arkansas State Police continued this week into the 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative. Officials cut off the funding for the programs tied to the initiative after allegations that the money was being wasted and abused.

Officials named Russell mayor Renee Garr, Bald Knob Elementary Principal Tammie Cloyes, teacher Davissa Brimer and Bald Knob School Board president Ladonna Gibson in the audit.

Both Garr and Brimer were paid $170,000 over 43 months, but no timesheets or records were kept, KATV said. Also, the relatives for the four coordinators were also paid a combined $114,000, officials told the television station.

The program was run out of a local church across from the Bald Knob school. Church officials offered to let the program use the facility for free but the group paid the church $15,000, KATV reported.

Officials were also able to recover most of the items bought with the grants in Bald Knob. However, almost $20,000 in items including a pair of 46-inch televisions and five digital cameras, were not recovered at the group's location in Russell, KATV reported.

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