Audit says Arkansas governor's office potentially violated laws with $19,000 lectern purchase

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders ’ office potentially violated state laws on purchasing, state property and government records when it purchased a $19,000 lectern for the Republican governor that’s prompted nationwide attention, an audit requested by lawmakers said Monday.

Legislative auditors referred the findings in the long-awaited audit of the lectern to local prosecutors and the attorney general, and lawmakers planned to hold a hearing Tuesday on the report. The report cited several potential legal violations, including paying for the lectern before it was delivered and the handling of records regarding the purchase.

Sanders’ office, which has dismissed questions about the lectern, called the audit’s findings “deeply flawed” and a “waste of taxpayer resources and time.”

ThePowerOfGeek,

How the hell did that thing cost $19k? It looks like something you’d get from a 1970s Ikea.

Ohh right… Nepotism and/or money laundering!

Hobbes_Dent,

A blue 1970s Ikea idea.

Jimmycakes,

It’s art ok. You wouldn’t understand.

AnUnusualRelic,
@AnUnusualRelic@lemmy.world avatar

It’s not just any lectern, it’s an advanced lectern. You can put papers on it and stuff, it can even hold a microphone!

macaro,

Lecture 2.0 Advanced Ultra Pro

circuscritic,

None of the above. It was used to hide improper/illegal expenditures. If I recall correctly it was vacation expenses, or something else that stupid. Basically lecturn cost $1k or $2k, and the rest got funneled back to cover those costs.

modeler,

That lectern as pictured is a cheap copy worth way less than $1000. The allegation is that she paid her friend for costs of a trip to Paris of which there are social media photos at expensive nightlife locations.

FuglyDuck,
@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar

That’s…. Pretty much text book money laundering.

Cornelius_Wangenheim,

It’s embezzlement. Money laundering is taking illegally acquired money and making it appear to be legitimate.

circuscritic,

It has literally nothing to do with money laundering.

It’s theft/embezzlement, and probably some other financial fraud related crimes, none of which are money laundering.

FuglyDuck,
@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar

Not exactly.

They could have just straight up embezzled it. The purpose of buying something overpriced is to make that purchase seem reasonable on a line item.

The lectern itself is money laundering to cover up embezzlement, yes. Because some one is gonna notice 15k missing pretty quickly.

Feathercrown,

My office, which knows Sanders’ office is covering up a different purchase, called the audit’s findings “encouraging” and “justice for taxpayers and voters”

badbytes,

Turns out financial fraud, really is a crime.

Carlo,

I still can’t believe SHS got elected governor. She’s a horrible nepo baby whose only qualification was her big national gig telling ridiculous lies on TV every day. Like, what the actual fuck, Arkansas? Then again, Texas’s elected officials are at least as bad worse. So, yeah.

Jackcooper,

Recognizeable last name means a lot when we never vote out incumbants

Look at all these shows from the 90s talking about future president Chelsea Clinton or how some wanted Michelle Obama to be president. I’m honestly amazed Jeb Bush didn’t get elected … but that came down to a more famous person bullying him I guess

Carlo,

I think an interrobang would have been a game-changer for Jeb’s campaign. And yes, name recognition makes a big difference. It’s maddening that consent for dynasties seems so easy to manufacture.

Asafum,

But that’s exactly why she got the job. The people who voted for her despise “the media” and live in Trump Reality™ so they love her for her Truth Telling™

Starkstruck,

They could’ve at least tried to hide the blatant money laundering with a nicer looking lectern. That thing looks straight out of a church basement from the 1970s.

azimir,

Of course, so are their ideas, so I guess it fits.

cybervseas,

“Deeply flawed” and “a waste of taxpayer resources and time” seems to describe her governorship better.

cosmicrookie,
@cosmicrookie@lemmy.world avatar

Let me guess … they bought it off their son?

sirico,
@sirico@feddit.uk avatar

Weird how it looks like a 1k lectern

ClanOfTheOcho,

Best I can do is $7.50. Act now, and I’ll throw in a pack of gum to seal the deal.

frezik,

Curves like that are always harder than simple angles. There had to be some level of skill involved. Not $17k in skill, though.

It also doesn’t match its surroundings in any way, and it just plain tasteless.

tiefling,

It looks like they forgot to remove the blue painter’s tape

halferect,

You can find this exact lectern on ebay for 1000, it’s just not painted blue

blazera,
@blazera@lemmy.world avatar

Its an audit, they know the law was violated. Theyre just not prosecutors.

BigMacHole,

Using MY money to Break Laws is MUCH more Preferable then having a Black Man run the state!

-Not Racist Republicans.

ParabolicMotion, (edited )

I’d be looking into what company manufactures that $19,000 lectern and then research who owns that company. There is a reason someone shells out that much money on a typically cheap item.

Edit: Here is a link to the profile of the CEO of Beckett Events (company that sold the $19,000 podium). www.linkedin.com/in/virginia-beckett-3a940423

FuglyDuck,
@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar

Lecterns aren’t inexpensive. A good one will go for 2-5k, easy.

Though they are far from 19k. Iirc, the guy is a friend of the goobenor, and that one goes for line 500 on Amazon.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Though they are far from 19k.

You’re leaving out the blue paint. That probably cost at least $10,000. It definitely doesn’t look like they got the cheapest color at Walmart.

etceterar,

She "bought" the lectern from a friend of hers, then she and the friend took a trip to Paris with the money (is the word on the street in Little Rock).

vaultdweller013,

Hell yeah little rock I got kin there. I aint got anything else polite to say bout little rock.

Letstakealook,

I visited once beautiful city, plenty to do, and the classic fake nice of southerners.

vaultdweller013,

Aye fucken hate fake southern niceness. Plenty prefer California apathy.

plantedworld,

That lectern isn’t even wide enough to effectively hide an awkward boner from the whole room. Not the edges anyway. Poor design

dylanmorgan,

Also, that lectern is ugly as shit.

42yeah,

Yeah, I mean look at the thing. It feels cheap. No way it’s worth this much

Whitebelt_Dural,
@Whitebelt_Dural@lemmings.world avatar

Something something money can’t buy taste?

Maeve,

"waste of taxpayer resources and time.” with zero irony. Okay, self awareness, but irony.

bulwark,
FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

If you steal a lectern, it doesn’t cost $19,000. This was Sarah’s mistake.

Zipitydew,

The government doesn’t want you to know this.

ClanOfTheOcho,

Steal a $19,000 lectern? Nah, bro.

Steal $19,000 through buying overpriced office equipment with company funds from a friend who takes you on a fine Parisean experience with the profits? Yeah, boy!

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