Judge Denies Ecclesia College’s Motion to Dismiss
After former Springdale state representative Micah Neal pleaded guilty to receiving kickbacks from Ecclesia College, three more individuals were indicted on several accounts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. Ecclesia is a private institution that has received nearly $700,000 of public taxpayer money through the Arkansas General Improvement Fund. Representative Neal helped to secure these funds for the college. The college has been keeping documents related to its receipt of the money private from public viewing, saying the confidentiality is due to its being a private institution. Jim Parsons, chairman of a government transparency group and a former Ecclesia board and faculty member, filed a complaint against the school on the basis that the documents should be public since the money came from a public fund. Ecclesia College has unsuccessfully attempted to get the lawsuit, led by attorney Chip Sexton, dismissed two times. Parsons states that the college’s argument was weak and that Sexton’s response was too strong for the case to be dismissed.
All of the attorneys at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm are dedicated to seeking justice for the public. That is why we believe wholeheartedly in the importance of government transparency; it is the right of citizens to know where their money is going and how it is being used. If you are suspicious of any government funded entities or wish to file a complaint against an institution on the basis that they are withholding public information, contact our office at (479) 783-0036.