BENTON, AR - Police launch an embezzlement investigation into the Benton Parks Department after the city auditor finds $6,500 missing from Benton's Tyndall Park concession stand. Now, the Parks Commission is placing Parks Director and his assistant on paid administrative leave.
"If i'm at fault for giving away a hot dog so be it," said Asst. Parks Dir. Kitty Smith at Tuesday night's special Parks Commission meeting to discuss the investigation.
A report written by the city auditor shows an estimated $6,500 missing from the Tyndall Park concession stand's annual profit.
"Expenditures were made and there are no receipts to back them up," said City Attorney Brent Houston.
"I'm here for a service, not a profit," replied Smith after commission members implied the explanation could be embezzlement.
Smith helped manage the Tyndall Park concession stand throughout 2011.
"6,500 in revenue is unaccounted for," said Houston, Tuesday night.
"There is not 6,500 in cash missing from anywhere," replied Smith.
Although Smith denies the amount of missing money, she admits to plenty of accounting errors like failing to keep records of sales and feeding teams, volunteers and people working the games for free.
"I'm not counting them and I'm sure not charging them," she said on the amount of food and drink given away per game. "I did not take any money. I ate a hot dog."
Until someone else steps up to the plate to handle the money at Tyndall Park, the concession stand will remain closed.
The auditor's report also says paid employees at Tyndall Park were never issued 1099 tax forms required by the IRS. Although this was mentioned by the city attorney during Tuesday night's meeting, the Parks Commission stayed clear of the topic. Both Parks Director Curtis McCormack and Smith are on paid administrative leave while the Benton Police investigation is underway.