Fort Smith Board Of Directors Asks Civil Service Commissioner For Recusal Following Vote

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The Fort Smith Board of Directors agreed to ask the civil service commissioner to recuse himself from business while a lawsuit involving his law partner moves forward.

With four in favor and three opposed, the board decided there does appear to be a potential conflict of interest with Chip Sexton holding his position as civil service commissioner.

Sexton's law partner, Joey McCutchen currently has a FOIA lawsuit against the board. Sexton is now being asked to voluntarily recuse himself from his position until the lawsuit is over.

"At this point in time, I consider this to be a nonbinding request from the city," Sexton said. "I've already recused any issue where there might be a conflict. I'll be talking to the city administrator and considering tonight's decision on a case by case basis."

The executive session was asked for by director Keith Lau. He said with that lawsuit Sexton being the commissioner is a conflict of interest.

The session started around 7:15 p.m. and finished around 9:30 p.m.

On Wednesday (July 12) Sexton said he planned to meet with city administrator Carl E. Geffken in the same week.

"I'll handle it on a case by case basis as to whether I recuse in a case or not," Sexton said.

Geffken said he and Sexton were in communication after the Tuesday board meeting concerning their meeting.

"I'm sure at that meeting we will discuss what his thoughts are and what I need to do in terms of following the direction of the Board of Directors," Geffken said.