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Arrests, Multi-Million Dollar Damage Paves Rough Path for Road Department

BENTON COUNTY, AR --- Three former supervisors face theft charges and the county faces the task of repairing more than five million dollars of flood damage.
It has left a stigma on everyone out there, including our administration, that we just are going to have to overcome. -- Bob Clinard, Benton County Judge
Three of six road supervisors, including the department director, suspected of stealing county money.

At the same time, mother nature slams Benton county with what's expected to be a multi-million-dollar mess.

When asked if it's a situation that could have happened at a worse time, Benton county judge Bob Clinard responds, "No."

Water rushes in as road officials are flushed out.

"That's taking just about all of our manpower," Clinard says.

A fourth supervisor recently retired on good terms, which takes a leadership team of six down to two in a span of two weeks.

"Certainly that would impact anybody's business," Clinard says.

But Clinard says the process of moving on is already underway.

Puddle by puddle.

Position by position.

"We're going to advertise today or tomorrow for a new road department director," Clinard says.

A director whose duties county administration will monitor a little more closely.

"We've certainly already made some progress in how we would do our invoicing differently to try to ensure that these kind of things don't happen again," Clinard says.

It's a tough road, or roads, ahead for a crew that Clinard says remains positive.

"We have a lot of hardworking people in the road department," Clinard says.

"We've had some people step to the plate and say I'll take care of this area, I'll take care of this area.'"

As immediate repairs are needed, in more ways than one.

"It has left a stigma on everyone out there including our administration that we just are going to have to overcome," Clinard says.

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