State sues former Fire Protection Licensing Board director

By Dayna DeHaven | Sep 5, 2014

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel   www.wikipedia.com

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a lawsuit Thursday against Catherine Gray, the former executive director of the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board, alleging that she misused a state charge card and wrongly obtained reimbursements for personal expenses.

Gray, of England, Arkansas, is accused of allegedly accruing $40,431 on her state purchasing card from March 15, 2012, to March 5, 2014, when it was suspended by the Office of State Procurement under suspicion of unauthorized purchases. She is also accused of allegedly requesting $6,680 in reimbursement requests, with $4,599 accompanied by incomplete documentation or no documentation.

Both accusations are in direct violation of the state’s Fiscal Management Responsibility Act and other laws, including illegally converting public funds and committing fraud. McDaniel is seeking restitution to the state, civil penalties and punitive damages. A criminal investigation by the Arkansas State Police is ongoing.

“Public officials are entrusted with spending taxpayer money for the benefit of the state, but in this instance this individual spent thousands of dollars for her own benefit,” McDaniel said. “We hope the court holds her accountable for her illegal actions and that she is required to reimburse the state for this blatant misuse of taxpayer funds.” 

The suit was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

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