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Bill Walker and 5Linx

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -A former state agency director's involvement in a multi-level marketing business is being questioned.We told you how last fall a New York company beat out the likes of AT&T, Windstream, Arkansas Department of Information Systems and others to upgrade the phone systems at four state agency offices under the direction of Bill Walker. Now...Bill Walker responds. In January Governor Asa Hutchinson replaced Walker as a state agency director. In March Walker was presented with the keys to a new BMW...fruits of his labor as a multi-level marketer with 5Linx.Walker was preparing his current job while still working at his old job.In July of last year Bill Walker sent this email using his state account expressing his desire to " us launch in the Memphis market." Walker proposed a "Super Launch' in Memphis followed by a "Super Tuesday" in Little Rock.

The email is signed "Bill Walker, National Director, Team Rock Nation."

To see the complete email, click here.The recipient of that email was Rosa Battle. In 2013 Battle was given the keys to a Bentley as a platinum producer for the New York Company 5Linx. 5Linx is a multi-level marketing business that, according to its web site, offers products for home, health and business use. Phone service, security systems, nutritional supplements and weight loss products are some of the 5Linx offerings. Contracts received through a Freedom of Information act request show that in October Bill Walker's sister Cheryl Walker along with and two cousins each received over $6,000.00 in grant money through Walker's agency to start their own 5Linx businesses. "My sister is a partner with me," says Walker. "These two other folks are not my cousins. I'm not sure where that came from." "They're not related to you at all?" "No sir," says Walker. "Not that I'm aware of."Over $9,000.00 worth of nutritional supplements and coffee was purchased with grant money. State checks totaling nearly $4,000 were cut to Rosa Battle's company Vett Jett for training.A DF&A investigation found that "Mr. Walker is a representative of 5Linx and has promoted the business to other employees."

For a look at the investigative report click here."I don't know what they mean by promoted it to other employees," says Walker. "If you're saying did I go up and say look, Jason, here's an opportunity you may want to consider....I didn't do that at work. I was very careful to do my 5Linx business on my own time."Another link to 5Linx...Walker's business partner, Michael Vickers, was paid over $8,000.00 by Walker's state agency last year as an independent contractor."Everything that is alleged here if you will in this document...there is a process by which these things occur," explains Walker. "And I'm not directly involved in those processes at any point."The main question is...did Bill Walker benefit in any way as a 5Linx representative from all the links between 5Linx and the agency he once directed? DF&A investigators say "5Linx would not answer our questions without a subpoena." "If the answer is no, why wouldn't they just say no?" "I can't speak for them," says Walker. "Frankly I cannot. What I can say to you is that the answer to that question probably as it relates to new sister would be that yes I could benefit at some point depending on her success or failure in the business."The report concludes that in order to determine if any state statues were violated because of the cozy relationship between 5Linx and the Department of Career Education during Bill Walker's tenure as director, it will take the Arkansas State Police or Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit to investigate and make that determination.

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To read the response of new Department of Career Education Director Charisse Childers to the DF&A report, click here.Air date: May 19th, 2015

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