The night is young | Arkansas Blog

The night is young

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But I am old. I'd heading for the door. The line is open.

FOR YOUR FILES: A flyer from the family of Aaron Jones offers a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever bound and gagged Jones in his home in Chenal Valley and set his house on fire. Jones recently was ordered to prison, though he plans to appeal his recent federal conviction on a charge that he set the fire to collect insurance proceeds. The family keeps the faith.

LATE NEWS NOTES:

* Dillards has announced layoffs of 50 people in their IT department. That's 10 percent of the staff in Little Rock and comes as a new division chief takes over.

* The Arkansas Republican Party continuing to bleed the life out of four cars driven by state officials that the GOP contends are unconstitutionally provided (and have been for decades) announced a nakedly political attempt to get publicity by asking for an injunction to require the officials to keep a log of their use of the cars. The brief reads more like an editorial than a legal pleading. As if there's mortal danger to taxpayers. If the cars are illegal, the cars are illegal. The officers should pay everything back, not have to separate out runs to the 7-11.

Plaintiff Johnny Rhoda's filing requiring this highly specific bookkeeping for an action that may be legal to begin with is somewhat amusing given his own disregard of state financial rules. I received today a stack of papers that would portray that Rhoda has a checkered history judging by revocation of his corporate status and public sums listed as due. I'll pass along the complete list tomorrow. You'll recall that he's the mail-order PhD who operates a mail order preacher business of his own, along with a financial advising business which wasn't astute enough to keep his mortgage out of a recent foreclosure proceeding. Maybe Rhoda — and Webb, with his own checkered financial and ethical past or gubernatorial candidate Keet with all his tax shortcomings — might just say it takes one to know one.

UPDATE: As promised, some details on Rhoda's personal inattention to taxpayers' financial interests.

Documents show Rhoda or businesses he's associated with, such as the Island Financial Group, have had trouble paying fees and taxes due on time.

* Island Financial's charter was revoked in 2009 for nonpayment of $150 annual franchise tax two years running and daily penalties have mounted.

* Van Buren County records checked recently showed him delinquent on business personal property taxes back to 2005 in the amount of $167.

* Dating back to 1998, documents show Rhoda has had 20 tax liens filed against him or related companies. All were eventually satisfied. 17 were for delinquent state sales taxes. One was filed by Employment Security.

This, remember, is the guy who thinks state officials should be put under a court order to document their car mileage.

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