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Insiders, Jan. 31

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Cycle Breakers

Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Willard Proctor Jr. and his Cycle Breakers probation program is getting more scrutiny than has been reported previously. Cycle Breakers attorney Mark Leverett confirms that the FBI sent at least one federal subpoena to Proctor and Cycle Breakers in December 2007. Leverett said he doesn't know the details of the subpoena, or what information the FBI might be seeking. The program was cited in a state audit for a variety of irregular accounting procedures.

Alice Abson, director of the Cycle Breakers probation program, said she hadn't heard anything about the subpoena. Proctor, meanwhile, gave a quick “no comment” and hung up the phone before the reporter could even get a question out.

Donaghey, continued

More on the Donaghey Building, which emptied its upper floors of tenants in December: A Georgia developer of low-income housing wants to buy the building, owned by Lake Hamilton Corp. of Hot Springs, in a deal rumored to be worth $21 million.

The developer, RHA/Housing Inc., sent a letter of intent Nov. 16 to the Metrocentre Improvement District offering its current appraised value of $2 million for the parking deck just north of the building. The deck has 650 spaces. RHA/Housing intends to finance the acquisition of the deck with a HUD/FHA insured loan, the letter said.

Sharon Priest, executive director of the Downtown Partnership, which manages the deck for the improvement district, said neither the city nor the district had responded to the offer. An earlier attempt to buy the deck (and rehab the Donaghey) by a Florida builder foundered.

Huck's soft-soap

Mike Huckabee has gotten many laughs for his joke about being forced to use Lava soap as a lad, ostensibly because of his family's modest means. Last week, however, a reporter in Birmingham wrote that the Huckabee soap anecdote had changed. Huckabee reportedly referred to his family's use of home-made “lye soap.”

Perhaps the change is because a blogger, Tom Lee of Manifest Destiny, blew open the Lava story weeks ago. He reported, in an exhaustive price comparison, that Lava is more expensive than regular bath soap. Lee commented: “Either Mike Huckabee is a compulsive liar and therefore completely unfit for office; or the Huckabee family has some sort of hereditary economic disability. The latter could perhaps account for his otherwise inexplicable enthusiasm for raising taxes sometimes, slightly. Either way, it's important that he be exposed for the confused old man and/or transparent fraud that he is. Has anything been done with the word ‘Huckster' yet?”

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