Benton Police arrest former Asst. Parks Director in connection to theft

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Updated: 7/06/2012 12:57 pm
BENTON, AR – Officials from the Benton Police Department have arrested the former Asst. City Parks Director in connection to a theft case.

According to the Benton Police Department, 57-year-old Kitty Smith has been arrested after she was fired in early May when police say they discovered she had taken money from and altered the financial records of the city’s concession account.

"If I'm at fault or a criminal for giving away a hot dog, or a Dr. Pepper or a Gatorade, then so be it," said Smith in May when the city attorney initially confronted her about the missing funds.

But according to police, giving away goods at a concession stand has little to nothing to do with her arrest.

"It has to do solely with money," said Lt. Kevin Russell with the Benton Police Department. "Monetary funding and nothing to do whatsoever with any kind of goods or exchange of goods that took place."

"It's just not her character as I've known her for the past few years," said Alderman Brad Moore.

Moore says the entire city council is blind sided by Smith's arrest and the ongoing investigation.

"I'm just really disappointed. I'm concerned for my friend and her well being but my primary purpose is what's best for the citizens of Benton."

"Sometimes you just never know who you can trust," said Lt. Russell.

The investigation began in April 2012 when an independent CPA firm was hired to review of the account and found discrepancies in the ledgers.Police say investigation found Smith was responsible for the theft of some of the funds and also for tampering with the business records related to the account.

Smith is charged with Theft of Property, Computer Fraud, and Falsifying Business Records. She was processed through the Saline County Detention Facility without incident and has a $5,000 sheriff’s bond set.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and Smith could face additional charges. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Benton Police Department at (501) 778-1171 or 315-TIPS. Individuals may also send an anonymous text with information to the number CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the text of the message.

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