Money collected in Jericho, Arkansas difficult to track

Published: Nov. 4, 2009 at 4:17 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM CST
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By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

JERICHO, AR (WMC-TV) - A lot of money pours into the tiny town of Jericho's City Hall, from its infamous speeding tickets to thousands in state tax payer dollars.  But what happens after the money is collected is anyone's guess.

The amount of tax payer dollars unaccounted for in Jericho totals nearly $40,000.

"This has been an ongoing issue, so every year we just bring this total forward,"  Arkansas Deputy Legislative Auditor June Barron said.

A report by the Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit shows the tax payer money was supposed to go into a "street fund" bank account.  There is also the money from the city's many speeding tickets.  There's no way to see how much money even came in from tickets, how the money was used, because the report shows there are no receipts.

Auditors gave this report to the states prosecuting attorney, who is the only person with the power to take enforcement action.  Prosecuting Attorney Lindsey Fairley would not agree to an on camera interview, but spoke to us via phone.

"The officials of Jericho are very poor bookkeepers," Fairly said.

Action News 5 asked Fairley if it upset him that officials in Jericho are violating state laws, and yet it seems nothing can be done.

"I have a hard enough time keeping up with the rapists murderers and robbers in Crittenden county to conduct audits of these small towns," he replied.

Fairley said there would need to be a more in depth investigation to find out if criminal charges are necessary.

"I don't know where one would get funds to hire any additional CPA's to audit Jericho," he said.

Until funds are found to investigate Jericho, thousands of tax payer dollars, as well as ticket revenue, may continue to disappear.

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