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Columbia County official charged with felony related to unaccounted money, audit reveals

by Will Langhorne | May 16, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.

The results of a state audit reviewed by Arkansas lawmakers on Friday revealed a clerk at a public water authority in Columbia County was charged with a felony after more than $182,000 collected by the authority went unaccounted for during a nearly four-year period.

The Arkansas Legislative Audit found the Dorcheat Public Water Authority only deposited roughly $1.33 million of $1.51 million it received from 2019 to July 20, 2022, according to a report provided to lawmakers.

Monica Crumpler, who worked as a water clerk at the authority, was terminated in January and charged with felony theft of property over $25,000 in March. The charge is a Class B felony, punishable by a sentence of five to 20 years with the Arkansas Department of Corrections and a fine of up to $15,000.

Several internal control deficiencies contributed to the misappropriation of funds and the delay in uncovering the discrepancies, according to the report.

Auditors determined the public water authority failed to comply with state law by not obtaining an annual financial audit or agreed-upon procedures and compilation report for calendar years 2019, 2020 and 2021. The last audit of the authority was conducted by a certified public accounting firm for calendar year 2018.

Philip Story, president of the Dorcheat Water Board, provided lawmakers with a letter detailing changes the authority was enacting.

The Dorcheat Public Water Authority provides water service to roughly 750 customers in rural Columbia County, according to the report.

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