Stunning accusations in landfill case

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Mississippi County Landfill director Wil Allen was released from federal custody Friday, even after testimony indicated he had pulled loaded guns on individuals and local officials say he has demonstrated fits of rage.

Allen and his friend Joe Harlon Hamlett face charges of honest services fraud and conspiracy after an FBI agent says they defrauded the county out of $19,500 in landfill fees.

“A federal grand jury will review the allegations before deciding whether to indict the men, but a criminal complaint allows defendants to be arrested and held until the next grand jury meets,” the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette piece posted Saturday morning reads. “Meanwhile, federal prosecutors asked that Allen remain in federal custody out of concerns that he might harm people who have cooperated in an ongoing FBI investigation concerning him and the landfill, including the interim county judge, Terri Brassfield (who replaced the late Randy Carney).”

The newspaper also reported that the judge “ordered Allen to remain on home detention with electronic monitoring, and to undergo a mental health assessment, give up his guns and stay away from county property, including the landfill and the office where Brassfield works. He is also required Allen to submit to regular drug screening and cautioned him that any violations of court-imposed conditions could later be used by prison officials, if he is convicted and sent to prison, to determine the type of facility in which he will be housed.”

Multiple recent employees of the county, though no longer employed there, have told the Courier News of numerous allegations of improper activities that have taken place on a regular basis by Allen and those under him at the Mississippi County Landfill.

Those alleged activities include multiple episodes of Allen having pulled a handgun, including once threatening a non-English speaking driver with threats of “putting a cap in you’re a**”, sleeping on the job, being under the influence of prescription medication, retaliatory action taken against employees, sexual harassment, receiving pay for hours not worked, the spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars for dirt that was never delivered, missing landfill equipment, improper disposal of landfill leachate into a nearby drainage ditch, nepotism and more. Additionally, some former employees expressed that they were fearful of their own personal safety and for the safety of others while working there.

In addition to the interviews with multiple current and past Landfill and Road Department employees, the CN has also obtained multiple videos and audios as supporting evidence. Only two landfill employees were willing to go “on the record” and have their names used, however much of their story has been corroborated by others that demanded that they remain “off the record”.

The two former employees that have agreed to go “on the record” included former scale house operator Amanda Ellis who worked at the landfill in 2017 from June 17 until she was advised that she was being laid off on December 1. The other former employee was her immediate supervisor, Terry Eudy. Eudy had worked for the county for approximately nine years and until she was transferred to the landfill from the Road Department around the end of February 2017.

“I was at the Road Department first and when she [Cathey Byrd] came back. Her and Wil, I guess had words…he talked to the Judge [Randy Carney] and they came up with this idea of this transferring us,” Eudy said. “She [Byrd] was at the landfill for maybe a week and they had done timesheets and I think she had questions that he had put down - something like that he had worked 26 hours of overtime…I think that she had questioned it and then after that, he decided that she didn’t need to be [t]here…I was on medical leave and I came back on February 22…that Friday before Tony [Stone, former director of the Road Department] had told me that they were going to transfer us.”

While at the Road Department she had been an administrative assistant/secretary and when moved to the landfill, she was initially named “the assistant director [Byrd’s job]” then they switched it around and made her assistant scale house operator (under Gary Pate).

Incidents involving guns

Ellis and Eudy both say that November 27, 2017 was a typical day and that they were working the scale house when a disturbing incident involving Allen and a gun occurred.

“It was busy…Waste Pro…and the Sierra group, they had a driver on the scales and he was a young guy and he comes quite a bit…he drives a white van…but the truck had gone on past and I didn’t know anything of it until BJ came in and asked Amanda if she had a vehicle on hold,” Eudy explained.

“BJ came in probably about 11 o’clock and he asked me if I had any Hispanic males come through that were on hold and I told him no, that the only one that I had put on hold was a Marck’s truck and a construction company out of Blytheville…the Sierra group,” Ellis said.

For a truck to be “on hold” means that the landfill does not have the truck’s “empty weight” already on file in their system. Therefore, they have to take a “full weight,” allow the truck to dump their load and then come back to the scale house to take an “empty weight.” The difference is the tonnage that they would be charged for.

“The Sierra Group had just come through. He [BJ] said okay, and left. I am assuming…that he went and chased down the two Hispanic males and had them come back. I am also assuming that [the guy from the] Sierra Group saw the commotion, knew that the two males knew not a word of English and decided to follow them back to translate,” Ellis said.

Eudy added, “I think he [Antonio] was driving a red, older model pickup truck...pulling a trailer…I guess he dumped and was leaving the property” and after speaking with Ellis “he said ‘well this guy just went out there and dumped and he didn’t come back and cross the scale and pay for it and he’s trying to leave the property without paying’. So they [Wil and BJ] chased him down. They said that they stopped him and told him that he has to pay to dump and the guy just nodded his head. And they said that he just went ahead and left and started going back to Blytheville.”

Ellis and Eudy both said that it was not unusual for Allen or BJ to chase people down and have them return to the landfill if they believe that a problem had occurred.

“The next thing I know…I can hear Wil screaming at the top of his lungs. I can’t even make out what he is saying, behind me outside. He is screaming about illegal dumping and going to prison and all this stuff, and he is walking up the ramp with these guys. It was the guy from the Sierra Group to translate and the only thing that we got from the [Hispanic] guy was that his name was Antonio. We don’t even know who he was with,” Ellis added. “He [Allen] is screaming as he comes up the ramp and when he gets to the door, at this point I can see Wil, probably from the thigh up and the two guys are coming in. Wil steps back to let them pass in front of him. And…he says ‘I will bust a f****n cap in your a**’ as he lifts his shirt and tucks his shirt under his gun so that his gun becomes exposed…to me, that is pulling your gun on somebody.”

“The guy on the white van, I guess he was on the scales when they said something about it…he went up there…he turned around and he went up there to get him. And I guess he knew that he did not speak English, so that is why I thought he was with them…that he had worked with the Sierra Group…they chased him down and they tell him that he has to go back and pay…and the guy in the white van had already stopped and gotten him and told him that he had to go back. So the guy came back. Both of them came back and the white van parked just in the lot and the other guys come across the scales and he is maybe 20. He’s not very old and I’ve never seen him before and both of them,” Eudy explained.

She continued, “The guy in the white van, he gets out and he is walking across the scales and the other guys get out of the truck and he meets up with the guy from the Sierra Group on the scales and Wil is just like, ‘Y'all don’t come up on me like that. Y'all don’t know who y'all are talking to. I’ll have y’all in jail. Y'all don’t steal from Wil Allen'...and really just…uncalled for…not unusual for him, just uncalled for.”

Eudy said that there was no reason for the altercation because the Antonio and the volunteer “translator” from the Sierra Group were both walking toward the scale house.

“He was acting like they were jumping on him, but they were just trying to walk into the scale house so that they could take care of it. And they walked to the window and we were trying to figure out about what to charge him. Wil and BJ came up with some crazy number…way, way too much,” Eudy said. “We didn’t have a full weight, we didn’t know how much…but it wasn’t THAT much. They were standing in the window and they were talking with Amanda and I was standing there. Wil was yelling the whole time. We were trying to figure out what to change, just to get him out of there and to get this done with and Wil was yelling at him, ‘I’ll pop a cap in you’re a**”.’ And I know that the Sierra Group guy understood was he was saying, but I know the other one didn’t. The other one didn’t.”

A partial recording of the incident depicts music in the background that distorts some of the softer voices, but clearly, above it all, Allen is heard screaming, “I’m Wil Allen, you don’t f*** with Wil Allen. Nobody f***s with Wil Allen. God don’t f*** with Wil Allen.”

The female voices on the recording indicate an effort to calm the situation, work through a translator to obtain the name of the Hispanic male and an attempt to quickly complete the transaction.

The recording includes that Antonio was charged $143.30 for the dump. This was a derived amount, however, since they could not determined precisely how much he had dumped. However, the price charged would be for 3.5 tons of waste.

Eudy said, “It was an excessive amount, I mean it is $40 a ton and I don’t believe he had three tons on that trailer.”

Another portion of the recording reflects Allen yelling, “You see this right here. You see here. We’ve got them all over…it’s the county.”

A woman replies, “They are not from here. It’s their first time here.”

Allen answered, “But anybody with any kind of sense knows that you’ve got to pay.”

Ellis said that they had to instruct Antonio where to sign and how things are done and the landfill.

Later the recording caught a conversation between Ellis and Eudy.

“Terry, did you hear that? He was a kid. Did you hear him threaten to shoot him?” Ellis asked.

Eudy replied, “Yes I did.”

“He said I will put a cap…that’s it! I’m about to like walk out. He just threatened to shoot a kid…and he couldn’t have been more than 18 or 19 years old…He didn’t know, it was an honest mistake. I was sitting here telling the translator to let the guy know that it was okay, that it’s not a big deal. Calm down, you know, it’s all right. And he is translating it back and forth with this guy; it’s an honest mistake. And then he threatens to shoot him…to shoot him! I want to vomit and I want to go home! I want to go home. I am at that point where I want to throw up or go home,” Ellis said.

Eudy is also recorded saying, “When the kid walks in…and he said don’t be threatening me. I’ll put a cap in you’re a**!...He don’t know, he’s never been here before. He don’t even speak English…It was an honest mistake; you don’t threaten to kill somebody…”

Yet another recording of Ellis and who she says is B.J., portrays her concern over Allen and his use of guns at the landfill.

“I was scared like I was not far from wanting to cry.” Ellis is heard saying. “I’m legitimately scared…between what you said about not being alone with him and him carrying the gun…one of the reasons that I was so scared was that Terry said that James and Mr. Don said he pulled his gun on Adrian on the hill the other day. Is that true?”

B.J. replied, “He pulled his gun, yeah, but you don’t play with guns like that.”

“He pulled his gun PLAYING?” Ellis asked.

“Um hum,” BJ answered.

Ellis continued, “See Terry said that Don and James said that it was only a matter of time before somebody is like gravely injured out there because he plays with that gun. They didn’t say that he pulled the gun on Adrian PLAYING.”

BJ answered, “He pulled it out though”

Elsewhere in a recording, Ellis, and B.J. continue their conversation.

“All guns are always loaded, even when they are not…another thing, you don’t point your gun at something that you don’t intend to kill. Which is what kills me with him pulling his gun out on people and pointing it at them…so if he’s pointing his gun at people up on the hill…” Ellis said.

“You know, really nobody…if he’s got a concealed carry permit, which he does, and I don’t see how, [but] nobody should ever know that he’s got a gun,” B.J. replied.

Allegedly, the incident on November 27 has not been the only incident with Allen and a gun at the landfill.

Eudy described an incident that occurred within the first couple months of her being transferred to the landfill, “Yeah it was with a Knight’s driver, it was still Knight’s Disposal…I heard Wil and BJ’s story and then I heard bits and pieces of what the other guy was saying…I don’t know what started it. But the guy was out there, it was a black guy, and he was out there on the hill and I don’t know if they said something to him about where or how he was driving or how he was pulled in there or where he was dumping or what…but Wil and BJ said that the guy pulled a gun on them and then they went up and told him ‘you know, you don’t pull a gun out here’. But then I heard the Knight’s driver telling the other Knight’s people ‘he had no reason to pull a gun on me’…the Knight’s driver told the other Knight’s drivers because he left the truck out there on the hill and he walked back to the scale house and was trying to find a ride back and he said ‘he had no reason to pull a gun on me.’”

She also told of another incident but did not say when the incident occurred.

“I know there was one time he was shooting…[on the] gravel road that goes in front of the landfill…it goes in front of the scale house…well, he was going down that road shooting and he said that he was shooting at skunks…it scared everybody…because he didn’t tell us he was doing anything. All we heard was shooting,” Eudy said.

Ellis also told the CN, “There is a recording where BJ is talking about how he will get out on the hill and shoot his gun to scare the employees. And then there was another recording where BJ is talking about how Wil, I guess was just having, Wil is mentally unstable, to say the least, and they got into the vehicle and Wil had his gun in his hoodie pocket and he wouldn’t take his hand off of it. And he drove BJ to a back road, just some deserted back road, BJ said that he became scared. He didn’t know what the hell he was going to do. He said that Wil got out of the truck, with the gun, and started pacing back and forth and BJ said that he didn’t know if he was about to kill me.

Once the November 27 incident had ended, Ellis told Eudy that she was going to call the Sheriff’s Department and did so.

“I thought it’s fixing to get crazy because I knew. I mean I didn’t agree with it and it was wrong, but I would have just gone along with it. I mean nobody got hurt and I mean he shouldn’t have done it, but that’s just the way Wil is too,” Eudy said when Ellis told her she was calling the Sheriff’s Department.

The matter was investigated, at the request of County Judge Terri Brassfield, by the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department. The results of the investigation were given to Brassfield and no administrative action was taken.

When asked earlier this year why no further action was taken, Brassfield said that upon the conclusion of the interviews, no one corroborated the story of the complainant and therefore there was nothing she could do since the allegations were not verified.

Ellis was the one that filed the complaint and Eudy is the one that failed to substantiate the allegations when interviewed by detectives at the Sheriff’s Department.

Later, Ellis said this about Eudy’s hesitancy to admit what she had seen, “She is scared. Wil threatened her…when I went on my interview, during the investigation; Wil got in her head and scared the s*** out of her. To scare her into going in there and lying. And he got in there and he scared the crap out of her and now I don’t know if she will ever talk.”

When Eudy was asked if she and Ellis had been afraid for their own safety, she said, “We were. I was personally afraid for my safety because he is a loose cannon and I was always afraid that if it ever came down to letting him go that he would just go ballistic…he’s never threatened me or anything.”

When asked if she had changed her mind and decided to go “on the record” despite conflicting answers she had given the Sheriff’s Department due to any grudge she may have with Allen or anyone, she answered, “No; it’s about the right thing being done.”

“THEN I was trying to save my job because of the past way that people had been done when they did tell what happened,” Eudy said when asked why she was changing her story about what she had seen. “Because of what they put Cathey [Byrd] through. You know I kept thinking about it and I thought, you know they made her life hell. They were asking her questions and she was telling them what she knew and they made her life hell. And they fired her and I just kept thinking that that is what they were going to happen. I‘m going to end up getting fired. I’ve got kids to support…I mean I got fired anyway, I ended up getting fired anyway.”

She said that she is a single mother with three children, aging in range from 13 to 20 that rely upon her.

“The only reason that I said that I didn’t hear. And I knew that he’d [Allen] find out and he did. You know, him and Robb [Rounsavall] are friends. I wasn’t aware that they were that close until after the fact, but he [Wil] knew of things that I had said that he shouldn’t have known. He said that I told Robb that I didn’t say it, but then I turned right around and told Amanda on a recording that I couldn’t believe that he had said it. I mean, Robb should not have told him that…not Wil…not the one that is being complained about. And then he took Wil in first, which didn’t make any sense to me. It should have been the witnesses in first I would have thought,” Eudy added.

Ellis remembers that Eudy had previously told her of “a couple of other girls that had gone through the proper channels and were terminated anyway, even though what they were saying was true…Cathey Byrd and Laura Washington, there is a couple. They were terminated and I don’t know about you, but I [Ellis] have three children and I have bills. I absolutely have to have a job or my kids are not going to eat.”

Overmedication and sleeping on the job

Amanda Ellis said, “Wil is extremely hard to follow, he is on a lot of pills, they are prescribed to him but he abuses them to the point that he will come in stumbling, slurring…but mind you, he is driving a county vehicle while he is in this condition. He’s going out on the hill and operating heavy machinery while he is in this condition. It’s pretty scary. It would turn into a daily thing where he was coming into the office…where he would come into his office, shut the light off and just go to sleep. Which was probably best for him in the shape that he was in.”

When asked if she had ever seen Allen under the influence of medication, Eudy agreed, “I’ve seen him take them [pills]…and I always thought that he was under the influence because his speech was slurred and he’d be so sleepy at work…he’d be sleeping out there in the office and you know he’s a big guy and he snored really loud. And there was a customer come in one time and he said, ‘is he over there sleeping?’”

Eudy said that both Allen and BJ had told her of Allen’s nerve pill (Klonopin) usage.

When asked if the medication usage impacted him at work, Eudy said, “Uh huh.”

When asked if she believed him to have been under the influence of the drug on the day of the incident, she said “uh huh…he ate them like candy and I saw him taking them constantly.”

Multiple recordings obtained by the CN also indicate that landfill workers began to question the mental state of Allen.

Ellis asked BJ what kind of gun Allen carries and whether he has it with him at all times.

“A nine millimeter; it’s either in his truck or in his pocket all the time,” BJ answered.

When BJ was asked if he thought Allen would snap if he lost his job, he said that he didn’t know. But added, “He is scared…a scared person would shoot you.”

When asked if he believed Allen would ever hurt someone at the landfill, BJ said, “I don’t think so, but he needs to get a crazy check.”

During the recording, BJ states that others have discussed whether they thought that Allen would “go postal”. BJ added, “I don’t think so, but he doesn’t’ want to go to jail.”

When BJ was asked if he thought Allen had it in his mind that he would be going to jail “for what he did with Carney”, BJ answered, “I don’t know…I know that FBI don’t come at you unless they’ve got something…when they come they know what they are coming for. That’s the way that I look at it…”

Irregularities at the landfill

In addition to the gun incidents, the two former employees also confirmed long suspected irregularities at the landfill in other areas and the special relationship that Allen had with former County Judge Randy Carney, as well.

“Carney let him get away with murder and when Carney died Wil lost his mind …,” Ellis said.

Ellis also said that BJ had told her that another reason that Allen was so disturbed with the death of Carney was that “Carney had him believing that he ran this county...”

Eudy agreed that Allen had a marked change with the death of Carney, “He [Allen] changed, he was really on edge when Judge Carney died…I think it was because he didn’t have anyone to back him. I mean the judge had his back 100 percent and I didn’t understand that.”

A recording obtained by the CN shows an exchange where BJ tells of Allen’s reluctance to work with new County Judge Terri Brassfield.

BJ said, “I think he is mad about it all…basically because he can’t come in here and act a fool and holler and fire and scream at people and s*** like that. I think…I mean I like Wil, but he’s got a problem taking orders from that woman. He’s still in the old days. That s*** is from back and in the old days…he just doesn’t like a woman being in charge of him.”

BJ also said, “I remember Wil saying that she wasn’t going to come out here to this landfill. Because she was a woman she wasn’t going to come out here and they put the wrong person in Carney’s position and then, sure enough, she kept coming out here.”

BJ also says on another recording, “You see Wil and Judge Carney were like that…Judge Carney let Wil do a lot of stuff that he shouldn’t have…a lot of under the table stuff. I wouldn’t be a part of it though…”

They both described how they had had numerous drivers for area companies that were making their trip to the scale house question why some trucks were allowed to bypass the scales and make their dumps, as well as why some trucks came in a back way, bypassing the scale house area altogether.

“There is also a guy named [name withheld], he has noticed the illegal dumping going on out there. And that is something a lot of the drivers have noticed, but Terry and I never could get to the bottom of what is going on…When we’d ask questions about why are these trucks bypassing the scales and going out to the landfill, we would just get a runaround. We never got a straight answer...,” Ellis said. “One day, I was doing his ticket, and he said a truck just passed your scales…and by the time I turned around it was just gone. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He said it happens all the time. And the impression I got from him was that I knew what was going on and I had no clue. That was the first I had heard of it. And then more and more people started saying, Hey, y'all have got trucks that are coming from the back way in to dump and you’ve got trucks passing the scales the front way, heading back to dump and we don’t know why or who they are’. Terry and I could never get a straight answer; we could never get an answer.”

She continued, “Well I was told they were coming in the back road too…the other way that goes by the church when you come from Osceola…you can go across by that gravel road by the church. I was told that they were coming in that way and I said something several times about that and I got shut down because several drivers were complaining…several drivers like Stracener Brothers drivers and Knight’s drivers, they’d ask me about it. They would say, did you all know that there some people that are coming around and dumping without paying for it?...They weren’t coming across the scales and if they were coming from that way, we weren’t seeing them. I told James [Roundtree], who was the operations manager and he said, yeah, they are coming out here...Wil would just tell me it was a one-time thing or he would tell me something to try to get me to drop it.”

Eudy added that another thing that kept coming up but never was answered satisfactorily was that of hundreds of thousands of dollars of dirt being purchased by the county, yet the dirt didn’t make it to the landfill.

“One of the things that was brought up to me was “Crab”. He is the one that sold a million dollars of dirt to the landfill that disappeared and it wasn’t there. His trucks will come through and they don’t come through the scale. His trucks with the dirt worked kind of on an honor system. They just say how much they are dumping. They could have a roll off a truck that is full a quarter of the way and charge for the full truck. Or they could have a full truck and dump it and charge for a full truck. Or they can say that they have been here ten times and dumped ten loads but they have only come three times,” Eudy said. “They’d come about once a day and they would have a ticket saying that they hauled seven loads or ten or however many they put on it. I mean I’d see them drive by several times, but I couldn’t tell you if they...I mean I didn’t know what time they started or how long…or even how much they had on the truck. James did tell me one time that he said they bring some on the trucks that he said it would fit in the back of his pickup, but we are paying them for several tons. And I was told that that was part of the money laundering. That they were claiming that they were bringing that many loads, they might bring three loads but they claimed they were bringing ten and then the county was paying for the ten and then the Judge and Wil was supposed to be getting…”

Ellis also questioned the dirt transactions with “Crab”.

When Eudy was asked if they had told anyone in authority about their suspicions, she said, “We had actually talked to Michael White. I think that me and Laura [Washington] and gone up and set up a meeting one time. I think this was before Brenda [Burke] had left…well, he was asking us questions…because that is where all that came up about where all the gravel was...they were paying for all that gravel but had none.

“And you know he was just asking us question about that and if we knew anything about (Crab) and his drivers…this was before the last election because they had cut him off on getting about more gravel because we had already spent so much…so we had a meeting with Michael White and that is where it first came up that they were investigating…where all the gravel went and why he was getting paid for all that gravel and ….we should have had it stockpiled.”

Another irregularity included an accusation that BJ received a set of used tired for his private vehicle as a result of working at the landfill.

“This kind of confused me…probably about two months ago, BJ got a flat tire on his work vehicle. Wil told him to go get four new tires. BJ took those four tires off of the truck and put them on his vehicle,” Ellis said in February.

Another concern that has been raised about the landfill is missing equipment. Multiple former employees said that they know of a person that almost bought one of those pieces of missing equipment.

Sexual harassment

The CN has obtained videos that show both Allen and BJ telling sexually explicit and highly inappropriate jokes about such topics as homosexuality and oral sex. Additionally, numerous photos were obtained that showed the number “69” placed in multiple locations around the office.

“It’s all over the place. He put them all over the place. It’s BJ, it goes further with him. On several occasions, BJ exposed his penis to me. On the week of Thanksgiving, it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving he came behind me and put his hand into my shirt and grabbed my breast. This is the kind of stuff that goes on out there because he is invincible, he knows he is,” Ellis said.

Eudy said that Allen, “would talk about inappropriate things, but did not witness harassment.”

Eudy did, however, confirm, “Now I heard BJ say inappropriate things to Amanda like he would take her home and they would have a detour on the way.

Cronyism and Nepotism

Former employees also allege that cronyism and nepotism are rampant at the landfill as well.

Allegedly, BJ and Allen are decades-long friends.

“They go all the way back to childhood. They grew up together. They like to talk about how they used to get into fights together in school and BJ likes to say that any fights that Wil got into, Wil wouldn’t fight so he would get in there and fight for him,” Eudy said.

When asked if employees that were not Allen’s buddies were victims of retribution, Eudy said, “I think so. After he found out he went straight up to the judge and he was telling them that I was messing up tickets and that I couldn’t run the scale house…every once in a while one would get messed up. But when Gary [Pate] went on medical leave, I ran that whole scale house and had everything ready for ADEQ, tickets and everything without a flaw.”

She continues by telling how she saw Allen favor BJ, his buddy, “[when] some tickets would get messed up and I would be the one to fix them. I came in off of vacation one day and I didn’t get my vacation back for it, but I had to come in and fix tickets. But then BJ took the credit for it. I mean he didn’t even know how to type up a…he doesn’t even know how to backspace. And Wil will type up emails and send them to the judge from BJ and then he’ll get on there and answer it, saying thank you BJ keep me posted.”

Eudy said that BJ’s job was as first a mechanic, “and then after the judge died Wil made him scale house manager…He doesn’t’ know how to the get on the computer or how to do anything.”

When asked if she thought the landfill situation has been cleaned out, she said. “I’ve been with the county for 11 years and my job got cut. I’m not a disgruntled employee because I’m just looking at it as going on to bigger and better things, but they just are not taking care of the right people.”

She said that she, Ellis, Randy Scroggins (who according to Eudy, ran equipment for approximately eight years) and Don West (who hauled leachate and did whatever) were let go.

Since then, Eudy and Ellis say that Angela Fox has been hired to run the scales. They also insist that she is BJ’s step-daughter and question why a permanent employee would be hired as a cost-saving method, but then replaced by another full-time family member employee.

Paid for hours not worked

Ellis said that she noticed people being paid for hours they didn’t work from nearly the beginning.

“Well, they wanted me to do the payroll and that other stuff, do the time sheets and BJ and Wil, I don’t know about Wil, but I know BJ’s timesheet is not correct. He is getting paid for time that he is not there. He is not working 10-12 hour days six days a week. He is not, absolutely not. But he is being paid for it,” Ellis said.

There was also supposed to be a third shift of employees that was never seen and that appears to have not done any of the work it was assigned.

When asked how the third shift operated, Eudy continued, “I’d never heard of it before but you never see him. And I was always told that they’d leave in the afternoon and the machines would be sitting in one spot and when they’d come in in the morning, they’d still be sitting in the same spot, nothing been done to them…we were always having to call people to come fix them.”

She said that was odd because they were supposed to be doing mechanic work.

When asked if Eudy did payroll or timesheets, she said, “When I first started I did. But when I questioned how he was doing. I said this doesn’t make any sense. I’m going to go up and ask Leslie [Lawrence from the Courthouse] if we are doing it right and he [Allen] said ‘No No, I’ll take care of that and then after that.”

She continued, “When I was at the Road Department I done them. I done time sheets and invoices and all that. But when I got to the Landfill, he didn’t want me to do them…”

Leachate issues

Another issue that the Quorum Court has spent a lot of time, effort and money on within the past year was the issue of leachate hauling.

According to reports in the QC Finance Committee meetings, there have been problems with getting the pumps used to remove the leachate operational.

Therefore, during the first months of 2017, the QC authorized the purchase of a truck and trailer for the purpose of hauling the leachate from the landfill to Luxora to proper disposal and 10 cents per gallon for treatment and disposal of the liquid.

In February, it was announced that the Landfill Department's January expenses for leachate hauling were $41,739.

The budgeted amount for the entire year of 2017 was only $90,000. Burge added that $7,985 of the January expenses was for hauling in December.

Therefore, the QC agreed to reassign a pay slot as a leachate hauler that does other duties at the landfill. They also eventually agreed to purchase a 2016, 2500 series, four-wheel drive truck with 20,000 miles and a landfill package already installed, as well as a new 1,600 tank, trailer with 2-inch pump and hoses for approximately $45,000.

Allen attempted to have the former office pay slot eliminated, but the QC said they would allow Allen to try to new arrangement but leave the slot open, just in case it was needed later.

"Are you talking about adjusting his pay?" County Judge Randy Carney asked Allen in February.

"We don't have to change his salary. He just might not be on the dozer as much...I'll handle that," Allen answered.

According to Eudy, “BJ got a brand new truck out of that. They…bought that truck to haul leachate and then they weren’t even hauling it. I was told that they would just let it go off into a ditch...whenever that came up, when people started questioning it, that is when they would start hauling it. Whenever the judge or Mr. Neil Burge came out there, they’d start hauling it. Before that, they claimed that the pumps weren’t working, but only one pump wasn’t working.”

Editor’s note: Former Blytheville Courier News assistant editor Tom Henry contributed to this article.