JONESBORO — After more than six months, Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said he is nearly complete with the investigation into whether Criaghead County Circuit Court Clerk Candace Edwards broke the law.
The investigation has been ongoing since December, and Ellington has maintained since then that the investigation would be thorough.
“While much of our investigation has been completed, there are a few matters that have not yet been resolved,” Ellington said. “Once we have completed our work, it will be made public.”
The Arkansas Legislative Joint Auditing Committee sent Ellington a letter in December with the 2018 audit’s findings.
The letter states that $99,608 was not conveyed to Craighead County Treasurer Terry McNatt. County officials should transfer all money to the treasurer’s office every month, according to the letter.
The letter also said that the $99,608 had been accruing from May 1, 2010, to May 31, 2019.
According to the letter, Edwards accumulated $2,234 in credit card fees and interest and that a third-party vendor, which the clerk’s office regularly used, sent $4,352 to cover the expenses.
The state auditor determined that the vendor was not required to pay those charges on behalf of the circuit clerk and that Edwards had transferred money from one account to pay off the credit card account, which is a violation of the law.
Senior Arkansas Legislative Auditor Michelle Atchley said that she expects to have the report by the end of next week at the latest. She also said that the case against former Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday could be slowing down the investigation into Edwards’ office, which began last December. The case against Holliday began June 26.
Ellington said he will send a report to Atchley, but it will not contain final determinations, and that he will report to Legislative Audit that the work hasn’t been completed yet.
Edwards declined to comment Monday, saying the case was still under investigation.