LITTLE ROCK - The Democratic Party of Arkansas today released a statement demanding a State Police Investigation into lawmakers' fraudulent use of state money in a kickback scheme through the General Improvement Fund (GIF). The Democrat Gazette reported on at least $40,000 of the grant money's misuse and, in some cases, disappearance. The GIF's intended purpose is to give lawmakers resources to improve communities and towns, but was chosen as the preferred method of the money-laundering scheme because of the limited oversight and accountability involved in the approval process.
"When you hold a position of power, you have the opportunity to use that power for the good of the people, or to use it for selfish gain," Party Chairman Michael John Gray said. "It would appear many legislators have chosen the latter. The FBI has taken notice, already issued one indictment, and they've warned more may come. This money could have been used to bolster community programs such as emergency services and food pantries. Instead, these legislators chose to put themselves over their communities."