Fox 16 Investigates Update: Pulaski County leaders prod sheriff for answers to issues plaguing the department

Investigates

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. — Pulaski County Sheriff Eric Higgins is answering questions at tonight’s quorum court meeting about his department’s financial mismanagement and staffing shortages.

The meeting just ended within the last hour. We listened to the sheriff field questions here at the quorum court for almost two and a half hours and he covered a lot of ground.

Starting right off with saying his department made mistakes that resulted in nearly $1.5 million in unpaid bills.

Sheriff Higgins assured he’s put new staff in place of finances and they’re doing things now like aiming for an invoice to be paid in the same week it’s received.

As he was leaving the sheriff had comments in part addressing the department’s body camera account that to date the county comptroller says has not been paid in full.

“Vouchers weren’t sent downtown,” said Sheriff Eric Higgins.

When asked about severe deputy shortages, Sheriff Higgins pinned it on low pay and people being burdened with too much work because of those shortages.

Another thing we heard at the meeting was several HR issues including discrimination complaints the Sheriff told the court he wouldn’t talk about that.

Nothing was decided in this meeting, but it ended with both the Sheriff and justices of the peace saying these are issues they need to keep talking about. Especially funding, which they agreed can be addressed when the court meets to set next year’s budget.

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