NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
Efforts to open a landmark North Little Rock restaurant are looking a bit bleaker tonight.
The odds already seemed to be against Gene Hickman and his dream of re-opening Sir Loins Inn.
Now it appears that long shot has gotten even longer.
Hickman has always had the criminal charges hanging over him in Lonoke County. But the past four weeks have introduced several other major distractions.
It was mid-July when we last visited with Hickman about his plans to reopen Sir Loins Inn Steak and Lobster House.
If you visit the site of closed North Little Rock restaurant today...there appears to have been zero progress made towards that grand re-opening.
There are several reasons why that may be true.
First of all, the Arkansas Securities Department has some serious questions about the certificates that Hickman was selling as a way to raise money. Each entitles the purchaser to a percentage of membership interest.
Second, last month Hickman appeared in court not in Lonoke County but in Saline County where he was arrested for felony theft, suspected of running a fraudulent scam for a generator system. The amount of money involved is $6,500.00 and formal charges are expected to be filed before Hickman's next court date....December 3rd.
And Gene Hickman wasn't at his office on Tuesday...possibly because he didn't have a way to get there.
Hickman's drivers license was suspended last week for non-payment of child support.
And then there are those felony theft charges in Lonoke County. 37 people claim Hickman owes them collectively about $140,000.00. A plea bargain involving restitution is still possible but prosecutors are prepared to go to trial in late January if necessary.
Air date: November 12th, 2013