Thorny Day for the Roses
A husband and wife team elected to county offices in south Arkansas are on the hot seat.
A legislative audit of finances in Lafayette County has discovered problems in almost all the county offices, but especially treasurer and sheriff.
While Victor and Keesha Rose traveled north from Lewisville to answer questions posed by lawmakers, we traveled south to find out what the citizens they serve think.
Lafayette County Tax Collector and Treasurer Keesha Rose was not at work Friday.
She was in Little Rock trying to explain to lawmakers what happened to $162,000.00
Rose's husband...Lafayette County Sheriff Victor Rose...was also absent from work.
He too was answering questions in Little Rock...like why he charged a $292.00 pair of ostrich skin boots to the county. Sheriff Rose says it was because he ruined a pair of $400.00 boots while working an accident.
But it is the missing $162,000.00 that will be more difficult to explain...to investigators and to the citizens of Lafayette County.
"That's a lot of money," says Jack Burge of Lewisville.
"That's $21.00 for every resident of Lafayette County."
"Is that right?" asks Burge. "That's a lot of money. I hate to see something like that happen."
"I hope nothing wrong is going on," says Barbara of Lewisville, who declined to share her last name. "But...like I say...they need to find out what happened to it."
"I hope they get to the bottom of it and find where the money actually is and who is actually getting it," offers Kim Duncan of Stamps. "Whose pockets it is actually going into."
"All I know is we have been friends for a long time and I don't believe that she would have any part of anything to do with nothing like that," says Jessie Williams of Lewisville.
"What is your reaction to any county office having $162,000 missing?"
"I want to know where it is," says Linda Caskey of Lafayette County. "Because we're paying all these taxes and we need to know where our money is going because it is for the county and if they're not using it for that we need to know why."
While Keesha Rose assured legislators that all money received by her office was used for county purposes, she will soon have to convince either a special prosecutor or the U.S. Attorney.
Air date: June 7th, 2013
NOTE: The broadcast version of this report mistakenly reported the couple in question's last name as Ross rather than Rose. We regret the error.