Special Prosecutor Will Look Into Alleged Misconduct At Centerton Police Department

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — The Benton County prosecutor has asked a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of misconduct involving two Centerton police officers.

Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith said Arkansas State Police recently completed its investigation into whether the department violated the Arkansas Speed Trap Law and questionable purchases made by Chief Cody Harper and Captain Kris Arthur via city credit cards.

Smith said Thursday (Feb. 7) the department didn't violate the speed trap law, but investigators did uncover potential wrongdoing with the handling of city credit cards, funds and some city property.

“I think it’s important when these investigations relate to a chief of police and agency head for that matter to be handled by a special prosecutor so that the public has confidence in the outcome of it," Smith said.

"And also so my office can continue working effectively on the many other criminal cases that we have with the Centerton police department.”

Smith declined to provide details about the purchases but said the state Auditor’s Office has also agreed to assist in the investigation.

He added that the special prosecutor has around 600 pages of documents to review, so there's no timeline of how long the investigation will last.

Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards fired Harper and Arthur before later reinstating them and suspending them with pay.

Edwards declined to comment Thursday.

A message left with the Centerton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 86 wasn't immediately returned.

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