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SALINE COUNTYS NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1876
FRIDAY
August 15, 2014
Volume 137
Number 227
1 Section 12 Pages
50
Home of Janet Nutt
and Lisa Anderson
Final Tow
Drivers pay tribute to Gene Jones
The family of Gene Jones was blown
away by a Thursday tribute to the long-
time wrecker service owner
and operator,
according to his son, Robert Jones.
Owners and drivers for more than 40 wrecker
services from Benton, Hot Springs, Malvern, Little
Rock, Sheridan and surrounding areas led the
funeral procession from Ashby Funeral Home to
Pinecrest Memorial Park.
The wrecker drivers remained at the cemetery
for the graveside service that preceded Mr. Jones
burial.
The special recognition
was organized by Clint
Newcomb of
Newcomb Towing.
Robert Jones,
who now over-
sees the busi-
ness started
by his father
By Lynda Hollenbeck
lyndahol@yahoo.com
Bauxite
payroll
needs
action
An emergency council session has
been called to deal with issues regard-
ing payment of Bauxite employees.
Mayor Johnny McMahan sent an
email to all Bauxite city employees
Friday morning stating, Your bi-
weekly payroll check may not be
available today, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014,
because of the lack of a second signa-
ture that is required on each check.
Mr. (Wilson) DuVall made out the
checks Wednesday and I signed them
on Thursday, but because of the action
of the council last Thursday, apparently
we have no legitimate officer to sign as
the second signature. The bank will not
honor the checks unless two signatures
are signed on each check. The matter
is our of my hands; I have done my part
by signing the checks.
The question about the payroll
checks arose Wednesday when employ-
ee Christy Mitchell contacted Alderman
Karen Brooks saying, Can you sign
payroll this week? You are still on the
bank account.
During a special council session
held on Aug. 7, the council approved
a motion to remove Brooks as second
signatory on all of the bank accounts.
However, Brooks has not been
removed from the official paperwork at
the bank and a different second signa-
Complaints
center on
FOI requests
in Bauxite
Freedom of Information
Act responses are slow to
be returned in Bauxite,
according to Alderman Mona
Struble.
The Arkansas Freedom
of Information Act of 1967
allows citizens to obtain gov-
ernment records to keep the
workings of the government
transparent to the citizens.
Any FOI requests must be
returned within three work-
ing days and a person who
negligently violates the
FOIA is guilty of a Class C
misdemeanor according to
the official wording of the law.
However, many FOI
requests sent to Bauxite
Mayor Johnny McMahan and
other Bauxite employees go
unreturned or are sent well
after the three-day deadline,
according to Struble and
other Bauxite officials.
Emergency person-
nel carry Michael
Patterson, 34, to a
MedFlght helicop-
ter on Interstate
30 on Thursday.
According to
a report from
Arkansas State
Police, Patterson
was hit by a second
trailer of a FedEx
diesel after the
driver swerved to
avoid him. It could
have been a lot
worse, said Bill
Sadler, spokesman
for the ASP. As
of Thursday after-
noon, Patterson
was being treated
at Baptist Health
Medical Center.
BRENT DAVIS/The Saline Courier
Man on foot struck by truck Thursday
Michael Patterson, 34, who alleg-
edly was struck by a commercial car-
rier truck on Interstate 30 near mile
marker 115, is still being treated for
his injuries.
Originally, emergency responders
to the scene could not determine if
Patterson had been struck by the
truck or if he had walked into the
vehicle.
Patterson allegedly was struck
by the truck and struck by the sec-
ond trailer in tow with the truck as
the driver swerved to avoid hitting
Patterson, said Bill Sadler, Arkansas
State Police spokesperson.
Patterson was then transported by
MedFlight to Baptist Health Medical
Center for treatment of his injuries.
It could have been worse, said
Benton Fire Chief Bill Ford.
The driver of the vehicle had to
complete standard post-accident
substance screening as part of nor-
mal protocol, said Trooper Allan
Johnson, who was at the scene. It is
unknown whether the driver could
face any charges, Sadler said.
Emergency personnel from the
Benton Fire Department, Benton
Police Department and the Arkansas
State Police Department all respond-
ed to the incident.
The investigation by Arkansas
State Police is continuing, Sadler
said.
By Sarah Perry
sperry@bentoncourier.com
By Bobbye Pyke
bpyke@bentoncourier.com
More than
40 wreckers
trail behind
a motorcade
carrying Gene
Jones casket as it
approaches Raymar
Road in Bryant on
Thursday. The Central
Arkansas towing companies
helped pay tribute to Jones, who
owned Gene Jones Wrecker Service
in Saline County. Jones own wreckers
led the way to Pinecrest Memorial Park.
JOSH BRIGGS/The Saline Courier
Emergency council
session needed
to resolve issue
By Bobbye Pyke
bpyke@bentoncourier.com
BAUXITE, page 5
FOI, page 5
GILLIAM, page 5
$150,000 cash
bond set for
accused rapist
Saline County Circuit Court
set a $150,000 cash bond for
James Gilliam who was arrest-
ed twice for allegedly drug-
ging and raping a juvenile.
Circuit Judge Grisham
Phillips set the bond during a
proceeding on Thursday morn-
ing. Gilliam previously had
been free on a $100,00 bond
but was re-arrest-
ed on Aug. 8 after
a motion to revoke
his bond was filed
by Chief Deputy
Prosecuting
Attorney Rebecca
Bush. The motion
stated that Gilliam violated the
terms of his bond by violating
state laws.
Gilliam was arrested origi-
nally for a crime committed
in November of 2013 that
involved the alleged rape of
a juvenile and was released
on a $10,000 bond in connec-
tion with that incident. The
male juvenile involved in the
incident claimed that Gilliam
approached him near Tyndall
Park and took the juvenile
back to his residence.
At the home, Gilliam alleg-
edly provided the victim with
illegal narcotics and then
raped him.
Gilliam was charged with
rape, introduction of a con-
trolled substance into the body
of another person, posses-
sion of a controlled substance
(methamphetamine) and pos-
session of drug paraphernalia
in the November incident.
Gilliam was arrested again
on Aug. 5 by officers of the
Benton Police Department
according to Lt. Kevin Russell.
Gilliam was arrested during
By Bobbye Pyke
bpyke@bentoncourier.com
Gilliam
TRIBUTE, page 9
Friday, August 15, 2014
The Saline Courier 5
Mail your Extraordinary People nomination form to:
THE SALINE COURIER, P.O. Box 207, Benton, AR 72018
or email us at news@bentoncourier.com / fax 501-315-1920
HURRY! Nominations must be received no later than Sept. 5, 2014
I Nominate _____________________________________ as one of
Saline Countys Extraordinary People. The reason(s) why include:
SALINE COUNTYS NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1876
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They are the people that give of themselves
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Nominate
Extraordinary People
16 Extraordinary People Autumn 2012
They are the backbone to any
community the next-door neighbor,
your friend at church. They are the
volunteers that give of themselves
selflessly. Their only reward...
the belief they did something good.
Now is your chance to give back. This September the Courier will
honor a dozen people from Saline County that you nominate as
Extraordinary People
The rules: Nominations should be for everyday heroes, not people
who accomplish good through their job. They must be people who
are accomplished outside the public spotlight. A politician cannot
be nominated for assisting the citizenry, thats their job.
Examples: Maybe someone looks after ailing neighbors, drives people
to the doctor or assists in their church. Maybe someone gives up nights
and weekends to coach children, even when they dont have any. Maybe
someone brightens your day with a smile, a laugh or an act of kindness.
They are:
Extraordinary People
The Saline Courier will publish a magazine with stories about the
individual nominees, and honor these extraordinary people with
an awards banquet September 26.
Please include your name and phone number.
Use a separate piece of paper if you need more room.
Extraordinary People Autumn 2012 17
Extraordinary!
ary Kay Mooney embraces many
causes, but underlying them all is a love for
Benton.
She has a heart for giving back to
her community, said the friend who
nominated Mooney for the Saline Couriers
Extraordinary People honor.
Her frst foray into community service
came about when she was 19 and chaired
the local March of Dimes campaign.
I got addicted then and have been doing
something like this ever since, she said.
One of the most fun things I was
ever involved in was the Saline County
Bicentennial celebration in 1976, Mooney
said. I helped Alice Hogue (now deceased)
write and produce the patriotic production
held at the rodeo arena at the county
fairgrounds. Hundreds of area residents attended
the event that was held in conjunction with
celebrations throughout the country.
For many years the lifetime Benton
resident has counseled breast cancer
patients and survivors. She does so not
with knowledge gleaned from a brochure or
a lecture, but from personal experience.
As a breast cancer survivor, in past
years she worked through Reach to
Recovery, an affliate of the American
Cancer Society. I have been involved with New Outlook
through St. Vincent Infrmary Medical
Center, she added. This group provides
free wigs, prostheses, bras anything a
breast cancer patient might need.
Everything at New Outlook is free to
patients. They would call me and tell me
when I had a breast cancer lady who was
ready to go home from the hospital, and I
have friends that call me and ask me to do
it.
Its a continuing thing, she said. Im
willing to counsel women or talk to them
at any time. Someone reached out to me
when I was sick, and it meant so much to
me. If you go through something like this
and you dont reach out to help others, then
youve wasted an opportunity.
Among her past successes is a
fundraising campaign she and her husband
led to reopen the Boys & Girls Club of
Saline County. Mooney (husband Dick Mooney) and
I helped restore the Boys & Girls Club,
which had closed in the midst of fnancial
diffculties in the 1990s. We got started on
that after Mike Duke called and said we
need help. What is over there now is what
developed from that grassroots effort, she
said. Im very proud of that.
She also played an instrumental role
in the development of Saline Memorial
Hospice House. We raised a major portion
of the funds through a gala held at the
Bauxite Community Center.
Of all the events that I have seen in this
county in my whole life, this was one of
the nicest, she said. It was like trying to
decorate a barn, but we transformed it into
something spectacular and raised lots of
money.
A member of the Benton High School
Class of 1964, Mooney is an active alum
and regularly oversees reunions and other
events involving her classmates. My class
is very important to me. Weve stayed
close friends and get together for monthly
luncheons. She recently accepted a request from
BHS Principal John Dedman to serve on
the steering committee for the Panther
Challenge, which involves raising funds to
erect a bronze panther sculpture on the
grounds of the high school.
In my class alone, within one day of
announcing the challenge, we received
pledges totaling a thousand dollars, and
were just getting started, she said.
She noted that the statue is expected to
cost between $20,000 and $30,000.
Mooney is a charter member of the
Benton Athletic Memorial Museum and
serves on the museums board of directors.
The museum got started when Coach
(Tom) Hardin called and said, Ive got
something I need you to help with. You
didnt question Coach. I was on board
immediately when he asked me to help.
The museum started with an idea
and it has grown to what it is today, she
said. The building was constructed with
donations and in-kind services, including
$50,000 in state improvement funds we
received through the leadership of Doug
Kidd, who was our state representative at
the time.
We were pretty much able to build
it debt-free. We gave the building to the
Benton School District, and it is self-
sustaining. I ramrod the museums annual Wall of
Fame banquet every year and have done
this for some time. The museum preserves
the history of the school. We have given
numerous scholarships, and were up to
three $1,000 scholarships each year now.
Mooney is the daughter of the late
Herman and Kay Watts of Benton, who
were both service-oriented and always
helping others. Daddy really got me into
this. He also gave me my love for old-time
gospel music the Blackwood Brothers,
George Beverly Shea and others.
I was a member of the frst organized
youth choir at Bentons First Baptist
Church, and there are still some of us from
that choir in the churchs sanctuary choir
now.
The frst place I was ever taken in my
life was to church at First Baptist, she said.
I was enrolled on the cradle roll before my
mother left the hospital. In addition to husband Dick, Mooneys
family includes a daughter, Amber; and a
brother, Richard Watts and wife Lynn of
Little Rock.
n
lovin
g s
e
rv
ic
e By Lynda Hollenbeck
M
Mary Kay Mooney Place of birth: Benton How long have you lived in Saline County?
All my life.
Favorite place in Saline County: Everywhere
in Downtown Benton. Every store, every
business, C.W. Lewis Stadium; every place
holds a special memory. Favorite movie: The Big Chill Hobbies: Collecting cookbooks; decorat-
ing; flower arranging; making jewelry; and
theme parties. Im known as the queen of
theme,
Something about you that would surprise
others: Im a serious Bible scholar.
through
Bauxite
From page 1
An FOI request sent by
Struble via email to City
Attorney Pam Perry, dated
July 29, has just recently
been completed, according
to Struble.
The original request
from Struble states: Under
the Arkansas Freedom of
Information Act 93 of 1967,
please provide me the fol-
lowing information. A copy
of or Internet access to all
e-mails to and from and
between you and Mayor
Johnny McMahan.
Perry responded on July
29 acknowledging receipt of
the FOI. She stated: I will
do my best to provide you
with the documents that
you have requested within
the applicable time period
allowed by law. However,
the scope of your request is
very broad as it encompass-
es almost two years of email
materials from an email
which is in active use in my
law practice and will have to
be searched.
The message continues
by saying that the records
will be made available for
pickup at Perrys office in
Little Rock during busi-
ness hours once completed.
Additionally, Perry stated,
I will charge the $.05 per
copy that the city of Bauxite
charges.
State law permits the cus-
todian of records to charge a
fee for copying records, but
the charges may not exceed
actual reproduction costs
and the custodian must pro-
vide an itemized breakdown
of charges, according to
information provided by the
Arkansas Press Association.
In a message dated Aug.
11, Perry stated: I have
completed 2012 and 2013 of
your request.
In a message dated
Aug. 12, she noted that the
documents are available for
Struble to pick up at her
office in Little Rock. A bill
sent to Struble states that
799 copies were made at
$.05 cents per copy for a
total of $39.95.
This does not include
copies of any correspon-
dence between Perry and
McMahan for the year 2014,
said Perry. She stated, The
request is voluminous and I
have not completed 2014.
Struble said she has been
unable to pick up the docu-
ments, but noted that the
FOI request was late and
should have been returned
on Aug. 1.
When asked about the
FOI request, Perry stated, I
would like to clarify that it is
not part of my job responsi-
bilities for the city of Bauxite
to complete FOIA requests
and this is not a city of
Bauxite FOIA request. Ms.
Strubles request came to
me directly and personally
by name under the FOIA as
an attorney. I am the cus-
todian of my own law office
records.
Perry continued by say-
ing, No one at City Hall
has anything to do with this
request and I am processing
it myself as I am a solo prac-
titioner and do not keep any
office staff. I have kept Ms.
Struble informed via email
as to my progress in com-
pleting her request and have
responses indicating her
satisfaction with my good
faith attempt to complete the
request.
Struble said this is not
the only instance of an FOI
being returned late or not
returned at all in Bauxite.
An FOI request from
Struble to McMahan dated
July 28 states: In reference
to the Arkansas Freedom of
Information Act 93 of 1967,
I am requesting the follow-
ing documents. 1) a copy of
all city of Bauxite checking
account statements that
include the month ending
June 30, 2014, or the latest
available statements. I know
of at least 13.
2) Spread sheet for activ-
ity from payroll accounts for
2013 and 2014.
3) Copy of IRS form 1099
and/or W2 that were submit-
ted to the IRS for Marietta
Ashley, Doyle David Ashley,
his son, and Mark Greer for
2012, 2013 and 2014. Please
include amendments.
4) Copy of the applica-
tion form submitted by
Mark Greer to the city of
Bauxite.
Struble noted in the same
FOI request: Mayor, you
have stated that these were
excessive and frivolous FOI
requests submitted that
you did not have the time
and resources to respond.
According to the FOI act,
that is not an acceptable
response.
To date, this FOI request
has not been answered,
according to Struble.
Another request from
Struble to McMahan dated
June 24 has also gone unan-
swered, Struble says.
The message stated: I
will ask again for a copy of
all city employees, their sala-
ries, job duties and hours
worked, starting at the
beginning of 2013. An email
will be fine. I want all full-
time and part-time and even
one-time jobs and financial
statements.
Bauxite resident Debbi
Purifoy contends that
numerous FOI requests
have gone unreturned
including requests she
submitted dating back to
2011. Any documents that
are not immediately avail-
able to residents must be
made available within three
days of a formal FOI request
being submitted, according
to the law.
Former Bauxite employee
Gary Beck also stated that
he had an outstanding FOI
request that had not been
answered to date, far beyond
the three-day requirement.
Candace Carpenter was
appointed to the position of
recorder/treasurer on Aug.
7 by the city council. One of
the duties of the recorder/
treasurer, according to
McMahan, is to respond
to formal FOI requests on
behalf of the city.
McMahan said, The
FOIA stipulates that the cus-
todian of records handles
FOI requests, which in our
case would be the recorder/
clerk/treasurer, which we
have not had one since
Sheryl Johnson resigned
on Nov. 1, 2013. In good
faith, we have been doing
the best we can with Christy
Mitchell doing most/all
of the requests, etc. This
will be the job of Candace
Carpenter as she was
appointed to this position
last Thursday.
I met with Candace on
Monday, Aug. 11, 2014,
McMahan said, and we dis-
cussed all of her duties that
she would responsible for
and FOI requests were men-
tioned and she understood
she would be responsible.
Candace called me yester-
day (Wednesday) and said
she had been sworn in at the
Saline County Clerks Office
and was/is ready to start
doing her job.
McMahan concluded
by saying, I believe
from this time forward
the FOI requests will be
handled exclusively by Ms.
Carpenter and I presume
she will do her best to com-
ply during the time frame.
Struble said that she
requested two things of the
city attorney to charge
McMahan with nonfeasance
and to comply with FOI
requests.
Struble said, I have said
and known for some time ...
things arent right. But until
the majority comes around
... we will have to wait for
solid proof.
McMahan pointed out
that unfortunately, the
Arkansas Freedom of
Information Act can be
abused and is a legal way to
harass elected officials, espe-
cially in a small town like
Bauxite, with mostly part-
time employees. Bauxite has
had one full-time employee
who has been doing it all the
last two years.
He added that the FOI
requests, mostly by one citi-
zen, have been relentless.
The mayor further noted
that Bauxite has had four
different clerk/recorder/
treasurers during this
period, adding that state law
says this person is to be the
custodian of records and
is charged with the respon-
sibility of fulfilling FOI
requests.
However, the individuals
in this job havent stuck
around long enough to learn
even where the documents
are located, he said.
We have had dozens of
FOI requests and some cit-
ies our size have maybe one
a year, he added. We had
11 in January of this year
from one person.
He added that there is
one citizen that has per-
fected the FOI request and
he believes she has done it
not for legitimate purposes,
but to take time away from
conducting real business of
Bauxite.
It is easy for someone to
stand on the sidelines and
demand information that a
city employee has to stop
work and try to find the doc-
uments when they are doing
city business. And none of
these documents, in my
opinion, are an emergency
or have any social redeem-
ing value to the recipient,
except to take our time and
hinder our workforce.
He pointed out that the
city now has a custodian of
records.
Hopefully, she can fulfill
these requests on a timely
basis, he added.
McMahan concluded
by saying, The Town of
Bauxite has made a good-
faith effort to provide
documents on a timely basis
without an official custodian
of records to do the work.
FOI
From page 1
the execution of a search
warrant at his residence
where several pieces of evi-
dence were seized as a part
of the investigation.
During the bond hear-
ing, Detective Brett
Carpenter of the Benton
Police Department stated
that a cellphone, laptop,
thumb drive and router
were seized from Gilliams
residence. Carpenter also
stated that to execute the
search warrant police had
to force entry into Gilliams
residence and that Gilliam
was discovered locked in
his bedroom naked from
the waist down.
Carpenter described
Gilliams state as bewil-
dered.
Gilliam was charged
with rape, introduction of
a controlled substance into
the body of another person
and trafficking of humans in
conjunction with the Aug. 5
arrest. The defendant was
accused of picking up a
male juvenile victim at his
home in Cabot and trans-
porting him to Gilliams
residence in Benton. It was
at the residence that Gilliam
allegedly provided the vic-
tim with illegal narcotics
and then allegedly raped
him. Carpenter described
the charges leading up to
the Aug. 5 arrest as pretty
much a mirror image of
this case (November 2013
charges).
Bond on the recent
charges was set at $1 mil-
lion when the arrest war-
rant was signed by a circuit
judge on Aug. 5, according
to Russell. The bond was
reduced to $100,000 during
a hearing in district court
on Aug. 6. The state filed
the motion to revoke bond
on Aug. 8. Prosecuting
attorney Carrie Robertson
stated that Gilliam violated
the terms of his bond by
having contact with an indi-
vidual under the age of 18
as well as traveling in the
city of Benton without adult
supervision.
Bond was set at $150,000,
cash only, on Aug. 14.
Defense attorney Jeff
Rosenzweig asked that
the judgenot set bond
for Gilliam and instead
require him to leave Saline
County and live with his
mother in Faulkner County.
Rosenzweig stated, Mr.
Gilliam is not a flight risk,
and said that he would be
agreeable to placing Gilliam
under house arrest with an
ankle monitor.
Phillips stated that the
behavior of Gilliam in both
cases was predatory and
said, I dont want to release
a predator on Faulkner
County.
If the defendant makes
bond, he is to have no
contact with anyone under
that age of 18 with the
exception of his younger
sister. Additionally, Gilliam
is not to be in the city of
Benton unless supervised
by an adult relative who
has no criminal convictions.
Additionally, Gilliam will be
required to wear an ankle
monitor.
Phillips stated, There
is considerable risk to the
general public.
tory had not been desig-
nated.
McMahan sent an email
to Brooks on Thursday, say-
ing: I signed payroll checks
for employees; we voted
to take you off; but it hasnt
been done yet because we
have to approve those
minutes (which I presume
we will do at Mondays
council meeting) and then
we need to appoint another
person (Candace Carpenter)
to sign checks; then those
minutes from Mondays
council have to be writ-
ten and then approved in
another council meeting,
and then taken to Malvern
National Bank for them to
do the required paperwork
and get my signature and
Candaces signatures on the
new forms.
This is something that
will take at least 10 to 14
days at the earliest from
today. You are still on the
accounts; the employees
will be calling you to sign
their checks if they are not
ready by tomorrow.
Don Zimmerman, execu-
tive director of the Arkansas
Municipal League, stated
that since action was taken
Aug. 7 to remove Brooks as
the second signatory on the
accounts even though
the action was not com-
pleted the council must
vote to undo what was done
in the earlier meeting.
The best way, the most
legal way, would be to call
a quick council meeting,
Zimmerman said.
Brooks responded to
McMahan saying, I have
never tried to cause prob-
lems for the city, but have
been accused numerous
time of being part of the
problem, not part of the
solution. I was taken off
all checking accounts a
week ago today, told Mayor
McMahan then that he
should start the process
of taking me off all check-
ing accounts and adding
Candice Carpenter. If he
had, all would be good....
Brooks requested an
emergency council meeting
to be held at 4 p.m. today
at City Hall. The purpose
of the meeting is to undo
the action taken Aug. 7
and replace Brooks as the
second signatory on the
accounts.
Brooks said, It should
take five minutes and the
checks will be signed by
4:30 p.m. While state law
does not require two signa-
tures on all checks, Malvern
National Bank does and
McMahan says it will take
the additional days to add a
new signatory.
According to
Zimmerman, without an
emergency council session
to undo the Aug. 7 action
to remove Brooks from the
accounts, Brooks would be
violating Arkansas law if
she signs the checks. Since
the motion was adopted,
Zimmerman says the only
option is to reverse the ear-
lier action.
McMahan said, I dont
know what the next step is
for our employees getting
paid. The special meeting
last week was bungled by
three council members
who were determined to
appoint a new treasurer so
she could sign checks and
take Karen Brooks off the
account. The council did
not think it through and
this is the result. This is
the incompetence Im deal-
ing with from these three
members of the council and
I cant fix their mistakes
easily. I presume they will
come up with something to
take care of this issue. Im
sorry for our loyal, dedicat-
ed employees (being incon-
venienced) by the councils
actions.
Gilliam
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