Arkansas General Assembly candidate faces backlash over duplicate payments

A former Harlem Globetrotter seeking election to the Arkansas House of Representatives has come under fire for his checkered financial past, which includes a history of accepting duplicate payments, the Arkansas News reports.

Fred Smith – who was forced to resign his House seat last year after a previous felony theft conviction came to light – had his record cleared by a circuit judge, enabling him to run again. He was convicted in February 2011 of theft of property delivered by mistake after a nonprofit he heads received duplicate checks of nearly $30,000 from a local school district, which he cashed.

Local Democrats asked Smith to withdraw his name from the race, seeking an injunction after being told it was too late.

"It could be that … it will be up to voters in the May primary to decide whether to return Smith to office or stick with … the replacement they picked when Smith was forced to resign," the source explains.

The Pontiac, Michigan, school district was recently involved in a duplicate payments scandal as well, according to WXYZ-TV. A recent accounts payable audit found more than $86 million in checks written to vendors or other recipients who may not have been owed them, $33 million spent by employees without approval, and a plethora of duplicate payments.

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