It was a good week for ...
A BANK MERGER. Bank of the Ozarks ($4.7 billion in assets) purchased Summit Bancorp of Arkadelphia ($1.2 billion).
ARKANSAS EDUCATION POLICY STABILITY. After interviewing to become superintendent of the Fayetteville School District last week, Arkansas Education Director Tom Kimbrell said he was no longer seeking the job. Kimbrell is widely seen as a steady hand atop the state Education Department.
It was a bad week for ...
MARK DARR. As promised, the former lieutenant governor handed in his resignation last week, but in typical classless fashion, he delivered his official letter to Secretary of State Mark Martin, Senate Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux and House Speaker Davy Carter, all Republicans. There was no letter to Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who has sole authority under Arkansas law to declare the office vacant. Meanwhile, Darr was also late in paying the first installment of the $11,000 the state Ethics Commission fined him. No word yet on the $9,800 Darr owes the state for unlawfully spending public money.
REGGIE CORBITT. The embattled Little Rock Wastewater CEO was fired by the Little Rock Wastewater Sanitary Sewer Committee following a report by the Little Rock Police Department that said state and city firearms laws may have been broken at LRWU's Adams Field and Fourche Creek Treatment Plants, where utility Director of Operations Stan Miller, with Corbitt's knowledge, lived off and on in his trailers. The utility footed the bill — around $25,000 total — to create pads and run utilities to the trailers, where Miller lived with his girlfriend, who was given access to the restricted site through a "proxy" pass. Employees told police they occasionally fired guns into a berm behind the Fourche Creek plant and that one employee had fired at a sign and street light on the property; vandalism had been given as a reason by the utility for Miller's residence at the plants.
LITTLE ROCK POLICE STABILITY. Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas, who joined the LRPD in 1978 and was named chief in 2005, announced that he'll retire in June.