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Benton Parks Director fired over missing funds

The City of Benton fired Parks Director Kitty Smith Monday after police found she had taken money from the city’s concession account and altered the financial records of the concession account.
BENTON, AR – The City of Benton fired Parks Director Kitty Smith Monday after police found she had taken money from the city’s concession account and altered the financial records of the concession account.

Smith and Curtis McCormack were placed on paid administrative leave last month after the city auditor found an estimated $6,500 missing from the Tyndall Park Concession Stands.

Benton Chief of Police Kirk Lane, in a letter to City Attorney Brent Houston, says the investigation into the missing funds found Smith admitted to purposely taking money “for her own personal use” out of the concession account. Lane also says that Smith admitted to altering financial records “to conceal or modify losses in the concession account.”

In the same letter, Lane said McCormack was not involved with the loss of money or the actions of Smith.

Police say the investigation into Smith and the loss of money is ongoing. Chief Lane notes that Smith’s cooperation in the investigation “has become difficult,” and police are obtaining a subpoena for her bank records.

Gene Moss, the Interim Director of the Benton Parks Department, said given the findings of Lane and the Benton Police Department there was “sufficient support for the termination” of Smith.
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