- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Officials with the Little Rock Wastewater Utility have fired a second executive involved in questionable expenditures.

Director of operations Stan Miller was fired by agency officials on Thursday, according to a story published Friday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1bczVRE ). The Sanitary Sewer Committee, which oversees certain operations and finances of the utility, had fired chief executive officer Reggie Corbitt the day before.

Both Miller and Corbitt had been on paid administrative leave since December after learning that Corbitt had approved Miller to live rent-free in his mobile homes on utility property. Ratepayers footed the bill for thousands of dollars of work and labor to accommodate Corbitt’s living situation and for electricity, water and sewer costs.

Attempts to reach Miller on Thursday were unsuccessful, while Corbitt didn’t return emails, or voice mails left on his cellphone.

Miller has not been offered any severance pay. Corbitt, however, is being offered about $47,000 in severance pay if he agrees not to sue the utility or committee members.

“Throughout the investigative process, we have been committed to doing what is best for Little Rock Wastewater, the rate payers and our great city,” said Sanitary Sewer Committee Chairman Marilyn Perryman. “We discussed personnel issues in executive session and ultimately made our decision after reconvening the public commission meeting. I appreciate the volunteer efforts of all of my fellow commissioners.”

A police investigation into the expenditures has been sent to prosecutors to determine whether charges should be filed.

The month-and-a-half long police investigation looked at the “questionable (trailer) expenditures,” as well as bullet holes and shell casings found throughout a sewage treatment plant. Miller and Corbitt’s authorization of an acquaintance to remove hundreds of feet of pipe belonging to the utility for free was also investigated.

The chief’s memorandum cites three Arkansas laws that prohibit a public official from accepting free utilities, from giving away property owned by a public agency and from destroying property.

Corbitt, when interviewed by police, said that while he didn’t officially sign off on any of the expenses, he was aware that they had occurred.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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