Actions by Centerton’s mayor and police officers have created questions about ethical — and possibly near criminal — behavior, according to documents we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, Special Prosecuting Attorney Jack McQuary stated in a letter to Circuit County Judge Robin Green that no criminal charges will be filed against two Centerton officers: Police Chief Cody Harper and Police Captain Kristopher Arthur.
McQuary did say, “Centerton probably needs new policies concerning the use and reimbursement of credit cards to protect the use of card points gained by use of private cards with reimbursement.”
Here is a roundup of circumstances that the city has dealt with over the last year:
In May of 2018, Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards fired Harper and Arthur for misusing city credit cards and federal funds, among other allegations. Just days later, the mayor reinstated both men and placed them on paid administrative leave.
Click here “Former Police Officer Tells KNWA He’s Appealing His Termination”
Lieutenant Anthony Keck, Centerton’s 2018 “Officer of the Year,” was put in charge of the Centerton Police Department as interim chief.
On April 2 of this year, Centerton police officer David Lopez was part of a recorded conversation, along with Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards and a councilwoman, that took place at the Bentonville Police Department. Lopez was filing a formal complaint against his boss, Interim Chief Lt. Keck, for discrimination, harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
Click here “Video of Misconduct Allegation Leads to Heated Exchange in Centerton”
Later in April 2019, a 2012 video was obtained showing Lt. Keck, then a Springdale police officer, using a TASER on a suspect. Keck’s behavior was later determined as “unnecessary violence” and his supervisors said the move was unwarranted. Keck was fired from the Springdale Police Department as a result of the video.
Click here “EXCLUSIVE: Centerton Interim Chief Fired from Sdale PD for “Unnecessary Violence”