Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday's "Two on the Taxpayer's Tab"

By now, many voters know that Steve Clark, candidate for mayor of Fayetteville, was convicted of theft by deception. He claims that there were "only" 43 instances of abuse; the Arkansas State Police affidavit documented at least 56 times that Clark took taxpayer money to maintain a lifestyle beyond his means. Some of the false claims were also quite humorous, including the two featured today.

This week's installment also reveals that Clark had a good sense of humor while bilking the taxpayers. Carrie Christie, who was a law student at the time of their romantic involvement, testified in court that Mr. Clark dated her, asked her to marry him, and later got back his engagement ring during more than a dozen meals and trips to San Francisco, New Orleans, Washington, and Atlanta, all charged to the taxpayers.

On his first date with Ms Christie at an Atlanta restaurant, Clark actually reported that he was discussing a fraud investigation. Pretty funny. He reported that his dinner companion that evening was
Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers, who at that time was basking in national attention for having successfully defended the Georgia criminal statute on sodomy.

On an August evening the following year, Mr. Clark and Ms Christie shared another state-paid meal at an Atlanta restaurant. It was then that she broke off their marriage plans and returned the engagement ring he had given her. Making light of being dumped and turning the table, Clark reported that the dinner with Christie was a discussion of "low-level waste."

Clark has admitted his criminal misdeeds, paid his debt to society, changed his ways, and by all accounts has gotten his life back together and on the right track. That's good. It is also good to see that he hasn't lost his sense of humor, running for mayor and all.

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