Prosecutor requests State Police involvement in UAPB investigation, official says

The office of Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter has asked the Arkansas State Police to open an investigation into alleged fraudulent activity at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff that has been the subject of an ongoing audit by the University of Arkansas System.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler confirmed that his agency has received a letter from Hunter’s office.

“We received a letter from Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter asking for an investigation,” Sadler said. “A file has been opened.”

Ben Beaumont, director of communications for the U of A System, said that the investigation that has been ongoing since April 2010 will be complete on Monday.

“Four people at UAPB were terminated this week,” Beaumont said. “The investigation covered purchasing and payroll issues at the Harrold Complex at UAPB.”

The Harrold Complex at UAPB consists of four dormitories for female students at the university.

When asked for more information regarding the firings, Beaumont declined to comment.

“I don’t want to get into further specifics about personnel matters,” Beaumont said.

Beaumont earlier said that the investigation began in 2010 after the U of A System received calls to its fraud hotline.

“The focus is on fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2010,” Beaumont said in an earlier interview.

“No comment at this point,” UAPB public information officer Tisha Arnold said in response to a question seeking comment on the audit.

UAPB Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis Jr. was not available for comment.