Fulton County Judge sentenced to pay $10k fine after being found guilty of theft by jury

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UPDATE:

FULTON COUNTY, Ark. — An Arkansas county judge was arrested back in August and charged with Felony Theft of Property.

Today, the judge was sentenced to pay $10,000 in fines after being found guilty of theft by the jury.

ORIGINAL STORY:

August 9, 2019:

FULTON COUNTY, Ark. (KY3) – An Arkansas county judge in hot water tonight, after his home improvement plans went off-road.

Fulton County Judge Jim Kendrick was arrested Thursday and charged with felony theft of property.

Court documents show the State Police-led investigation began back in late June.

According to court documents, county road department crews spent two days repairing Kendrick’s two-tenths of a mile long driveway. They did so using county equipment and materials only for county use.

Court documents show that from June 11 through the 12th, Kendrick used Fulton County employees, who were not on vacation time and who were being paid by the county as normal, to do extensive work on his personal driveway.

A county road grader and two county dump trucks were used for the work.

A total of 18 loads of fill dirt were hauled to Kendrick’s home near Mammoth Spring.

In an interview with investigators Kendrick said the hill dirt used, only costs the county $4.00 per load.

Court documents show for the past two years, the county has a verbal contract with a private land owner in nearby Viola, who only allows the county, not the public, to use fill dirt from his land.

A week after the work was completed, according to investigators, Kendrick wrote a reimbursement check from his personal bank account in the amount of $1,812.00.

That money was for road equipment, material and labor used for the work on his driveway.

Investigators say the reimbursement check only covered the costs for what the county is charged for materials and equipment.

They go on to say a member of the public would have to use a private contractor for the work, which would cost substantially more.

Investigators say cost estimates from three local companies averaged out to over $5,600.00 for the same amount of materials and equipment costs that were used to repair Kendrick’s driveway.

Kendrick, who took his oath of office on January 2nd of this year, was working in his office Friday.

His attorney, Phil Smith, told us off camera that quote, “the judge definitely intends to plead not guilty.”

A court date has not been set.

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