State police confirm parks probe

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

By Samantha Jones

Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com

The Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Department is the subject of an open criminal investigation, the Arkansas State Police confirmed last week.

In an email dated March 6, state police public information officer Bill Sadler writes that there is an open investigation into the parks department relating to allegations of misappropriated or unaccounted assets. The Carroll County News and the Lovely County Citizen, sister newspapers published by Carroll County Newspapers, reported last week that the department is being investigated by the Arkansas State Police and by a special prosecutor in separate cases.

Eureka Springs Police Chief Brian Young said Feb. 28 that the commission is being investigated for holding an alleged illegal meeting and for missing money. Young said the investigation regarding missing money was turned over to the Arkansas State Police, while a special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the investigation into the alleged illegal meeting.

Parks director Justin Huss confirmed on March 2 that the parks commission is being investigated for an alleged illegal meeting held on Sept. 26, 2019. At the time of the alleged illegal meeting, Huss said, he was at a conference in Baltimore.

“It was originally intended to only be a special meeting to approve the minutes from the prior meeting so we could purchase the shuttles,” Huss said.

Huss said he couldn’t comment on the investigation into missing money, saying he can’t give an official statement on matters under investigation.

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