Alexander city treasurer resigns, scandal emerges

ALEXANDER (KATV) - Alexander police chief Horace Walters wasn't surprised when his city treasurer resigned Monday afternoon.

He says JoAn Allen-Churchill, treasurer since January, is at the center of a criminal fraud investigation.

"I have investigated for about two weeks and found some very, very disturbing information," said Walters.

He says there is at least $6,000 that was taken from his department and he intends to prove she helped misappropriate it.

"It looks right now that she's not going to be the only one," he added.

Allen-Churchill only left this letter for her former bosses: "Because of the situation in the City of Alexander, the extreme 'brokenness' of the governing body, because there is no ordinance describing my duties and finally no apparent common ground to pass such an instrument, I hereby tender my resignation."

However, Walters says there's at least $6,000 gone from his department and he intends to prove she helped misappropriated it.

"They would always take the money from the police department and pay other bills with it," he said. "Then they would get up at council meetings and tell people in public, 'Well the police department is overspending their money. They don't have any money.'"

Allen-Churchill didn't show up to Monday night's council meeting, where some of the "brokenness" she referenced was on full display.

"Tonight we had four people who didn't show up we got nothing done," said Alderman Brad Scott. "Tonight we needed to hire a city attorney."

The council had to adjourn sixteen minutes into the meeting because four aldermen didn't show up either, meaning the council did not have enough in attendance to make a quorum.

Still, Scott is optimistic for Alexander's future after the resignation.

"Maybe we can actually have somebody that when an alderman or a head of the department asks for something they'll get it," he said, adding that Allen-Churchill had not reported for work since March 6.

The Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit, among other agencies, have been called in to help investigate, according to Walters.