Review panel upholds firefighter’s termination

A review committee on Tuesday heard an appeal of and then upheld a July termination of Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department member Rickie Hudson, who has been charged with felony theft of property.

Hudson, who was 31 and had been with the department four years at the time, was arrested following a series of bank transactions in late May. On May 25 and 27, Hudson allegedly deposited empty deposit envelopes, each of which supposedly contained $1,200. After the deposits were posted, Hudson allegedly withdrew the money from Simmons First National Bank.

He was arrested on June 3 and taken to the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Detention Center, where he was held on probable cause of fraud and theft of property. He was released the following day.

Hudson’s plea and arraignment on the pending charge is slated for Sept. 4 in Fifth Division Circuit Court, according to Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter.

Members of the review committee included city employers Joe Childers, Sharon Johnson and Larry Matthews.