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Audit: Arkansas sheriff’s office misused nearly $71,000

June 5, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas sheriff’s office misused nearly $71,000 in taxpayer money, including spending it on unaccounted for guns and ammunition as well as on an Apple watch, personal clothing and hunting gear, according to a legislative audit.

The audit showed “improper and questionable transactions totaling $70,545 due to a general lack of oversight within” the Stone County Sheriff’s Office in north Arkansas, KATV in Little Rock reported on Friday.

During a legislative hearing on Thursday, lawmakers asked Sheriff Lance Bonds how he missed all of the unauthorized purchases that came out of his budget.

“I wasn’t watching my budget,” Bonds said. “I just wasn’t watching. I had a deputy sheriff killed up there, I wasn’t into my job and I trusted my chief deputy too much.”

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The chief deputy resigned in March 2020.

Arkansas State Police is investigating Bonds’ ex-chief deputy over allegations of misusing taxpayer dollars.

The audit showed that $9,939 was spent on guns, accessories, and ammunition that are unaccounted for. Another $5,790 was spent on items such as a 55-inch television, Oakley sunglasses, body armor, a cooler, an iPhone, and hunting gear.