Port Authority Member Resigns After Solicitation Arrest
A member of the Fort Smith Port Authority and former city director has resigned after being arrested for allegedly soliciting an undercover officer for sex.
Fort Smith Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman confirms Alaric “Rick” Parrish, 60, resigned from his position on the port authority board Monday (Jan. 7).
Dingman says Parrish sent City Administrator Ray Gosack a letter of resignation.
Parrish responded to an ad for prostitution posted on a website called Backpage.com and met an undercover detective at a Fort Smith hotel Friday afternoon (Jan. 4), according to a police report.
“Which just goes to show that you know it can happen to anybody. It’s not just a certain class of individual,” said Capt. Jarrard Copeland, with the Fort Smith Police Department. “It can happy to anybody.”
The offense report states Parrish called the phone number on the ad just before 3 p.m. and arranged a meeting. Once inside the hotel room Parrish and the undercover officer discussed various sexual acts and the use of “sex toys,” according to the report.
After Parrish placed $150 on the table and started to take off his shoes, police officers came into the room and arrested him, the report states. “Once he got there and paid money for a sexual favor then that’s prostitution,” said Capt. Copeland.
He was booked into the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center and later released on a $1,500 bond, a jail deputy said.
Parrish served as a city director until 2008, after 12 years.
“I’m just terribly ashamed and embarrassed,” Parrish told 5NEWS Monday. He said he did not wish to speak on camera, but stressed that he was sorry and that an incident like that had never happened before.
Parrish has a wife and kids, and told 5NEWS his family is aware of the arrest.