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Former Garland County lawman accused of stealing from officers association

A former sergeant with the Garland County Sheriff’s Office is accused of stealing money from the Arkansas Narcotics Officers Association while he served as its treasurer, according to court documents.

An affidavit, filed in Garland County Circuit Court on March 7, states a special agent with Arkansas State Police began investigating accusations against Michael Wright, 48, of Pearcy in July 2017.

According to the affidavit, State Police spoke with Wes Baxter, a member of the association, who said Wright admitted to writing himself checks out of the association’s accounts after he was questioned why deposits had not been made. Wright allegedly told Baxter that “he was having financial trouble” and that he had been writing himself checks “for a couple of years.”

Baxter notified the other association board members, including Capt. Robb Rounsavall with the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office, about the stolen funds. Rounsavall told the special agent Wright said he believed he had taken approximately $3,000 to 4,000 from the association. Weeks later, Rounsavall said Wright called him wanting to know if he could sit down with the association’s leaders to pay back the money and said he would be willing to show them which checks he wrote to himself.

An auditor investigating the case told State Police that there was a shortage of approximately $8,150 from January 2013 to July 2017. The auditor also reported there approximately $25,000 worth of cash disbursements and reimbursements to Wright from the association’s account were determined to be suspicious.

In January 2018, the president of the association spoke with State Police and said the board reviewed the questionable withdrawals made by Wright. The president believed the association had lost $8,900 and “would agree to this loss total recouped from Mike Wright.”

Wright has since been arrested for theft of property over $5,000 in the case.

Courtesy of KATV 7

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