At the Capitol, state lawmakers learned about some of the school district's questionable contracts and its internal difficulties.
Among the state audit's findings: The District did not get bids for 12 handicap accessible water fountains totally almost $20,000 and two digital signs costing about $23,000. In addition, the District spent just over $180,000 on a new roof for its elementary school but did not have an architect use an architect, as required by law, when they undertook this project.
During the hearing, we learned that the school board suspended Darrell Porter, the superintendent, but still have him on the payroll.
After the hearing, KARK sought specific answers from the Interim Superintendent, Mary Thomas and Finance Director Judy Clampet.
Clampet was at first willing to speak with us about the audit but not on camera. Thomas was only willing to talk about the direction she plans on taking the school district. She backed out of an interview when we sought answers as to Porter's suspension. Clampet shut down the interview.
A newspaper archive search shows Porter was suspended in July after he was arrested for his second drunk driving offense in four years. He could not be located for comment.
The state lawmaker who chairs that committee, State Sen. Cecile Bledsoe told us the state will audit the school district again.
Bledsoe said she wants to know why the school district is continuing to pay Porter while it is also paying for Thomas' to serve as interim superintendent.
KARK will follow up on this story.