State legislative committee motions to subpoena Newton County, Ark. sheriff

Committee reports alleges illegal transaction of seized weapons.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KY3) - The Arkansas Legislative Joint Audit Committee for Counties and Municipalities filed a motion to subpoena Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler following its hearing Thursday.

The audit panel called three Newton County officials to come before the committee to discuss probation fees previously collected by the county. The sheriff did not appear.

District Judge Gail Inman-Campbell and Clerk Kortine House attended. The two told the committee the collection, started by the previous administration, was found not to be done correctly and has since been stopped.

“The probation fees were put in place before I got there for anyone who was on a time pay,” said House before the committee.

“House has done nothing wrong. She was simply doing as she was instructed,” said Inman-Campbell. “I came into office in January of 2021, and we put a stop to (the collection) by March of 2021.”

Sheriff Wheeler was meant to speak on the committee’s alleged findings from a transaction involving the sheriff’s office in June of 2019.

”The county sheriff sold 103 seized firearms to a gun dealer for $12,150,” said Tim Jones with the Legislative Audit Committee. “Rather than issuing a payment to the county, the dealer issued payment to a car dealership and subsequently purchased a vehicle from the dealership with the gun sale proceeds as credit.”

Sheriff Wheeler was not able to speak with KY3 Friday. He did provide a statement:

“I answered the original findings in a letter to the legislative audit. I’m more than happy to answer again if subpoenaed. My staff and I are adamant about doing things properly and transparently.”

Sheriff Wheeler also added that he feels the situation was handled appropriately through the letter to the committee. Upon failure to appear, the committee filed a motion to have Sheriff Wheeler summoned at their meeting on June 3.

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