Letter to the Editor

Henry says Phillips one of several bad hires

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Dear Editor,

Finally after almost four years of the Arkansas State Police investigating our city, former “Sanders for Mayor” Campaign Manager Gary Phillips was arrested and charged with felony theft. Not in connection with $490,000 of allegedly fraudulent office equipment contracts he signed.

Phillip’s arrest is yet another example, in a long list, that proves that Mayor James Sanders exercises bad judgment when hiring cronies/friends and has failed to provide adequate oversight.


• Sanders hired former Administrative Assistant Felicia Bell, eventually charged with theft and forgery surrounding allegedly false invoices ($4,777.07) including one for repair on her brother’s vehicle.

• Bell also had to reimburse the city for $218 for personal use of FedEx and was a witness to the “Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release of All Claims” contract between the city and former/current? Sanders campaign worker Ruby Cullins for $1,943.59 on Feb. 8, 2012. Since Arkansas municipalities have an immunity shield and other citizens have been denied money, was this one paid because it involved his campaign worker?

• Sanders also hired former Finance Director LaVera Kuykendall despite having previously pleaded guilty (September 2003) in an unemployment fraud case and after having been arrested several times under the Arkansas Hot Check Law.

• Kuykendall’s son, Leonard Woods, was also charged with theft of property ($1,440) for billing the city for computer services to Bell’s city computer.

• Also, remember former City Attorney Mike Bearden giving his city insurance ($4,428) to his non-city employee secretary?

It is time to clean up the mess in City Hall!

— Tom Henry