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ARKANSAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT FLAWED INVESTIGATION - PART TWO: CHAOS AT CAMP ROBINSON

Before we get to Part Two of the continuing saga of the Arkansas Military Department ("AMD") commonly known as the Arkansas National Guard, and their former infamous employee Carla L. Daniels, we want to pause a moment and give a shout-out to all the AMD employees that have contacted us and thanked us for posting these stories and providing us with confirmation of information and giving us tips and leads for other sources of information.



Part One of this story ended with our proposition based on a preponderance of the evidence that Karen Norris used her position as an employee in the HR Department of the AMD to place her long-time friend Carla Daniels on the list to be interviewed for a high ranking position at the AMD even though a job panel did not score her application high enough to be considered for an interview for the position. We also pointed out several erroneous aspects of the flawed internal investigation.

Our post back in October dealt with some serious problems at the AMD and looked into Carla Daniels history of on-the-job behavior problems.

CLICK TO VIEW OUR OCTOBER 15TH POST 

The seminal incident that started the internal investigation was an anonymous letter mailed in early June to the residence of General Mark Berry, the Adjutant General of Arkansas that related quite a bit of unflattering, but mostly true information about Carla L. Daniels, who at the time was the Fiscal Division Manager/Director of State Resources for the AMD.


MAJOR GENERAL MARK HAMILTON BERRY - ADJUTANT GENERAL OF ARKANSAS




According to one of our confidential sources, Gen. Berry was on vacation when the letter was received and he opened it upon his return home.  The envelope that the letter was mailed in was inadvertently discarded. 

AMD mouthpiece, Lt. Col Joel Lynch confirmed that the anonymous letter was the impetus for the internal investigation in an interview with reporters. "Somebody felt that this grievance process wasn't going to work for them or didn't know it existed. So that's one thing that comes from this. There is a process for this to come out so people don't have to go to the media or go to some anonymous letter to bring this to light. There's a way internally that we can look out for all of our employees", Lynch stated.




KARK NEWS REPORT - AUGUST 24, 2016 


The letter makes reference to Daniels getting fired when she was a probation officer for the City of Little Rock for her explosive temper.  True.  Daniels did appeal her termination and she was allowed to resign.  Daniels did have to attend an Employee Assistance Program ("EAP") and could not instruct anger management or domestic violence classes as a result. Who is their right might would think an individual with a history of documented issues with anger would be a fit and proper person to teach either of those classes.

The documents we obtained and posted from the city of Little Rock detail the reason for her termination and prior suspensions for outburst of anger in the workplace. Read them for yourself.






The letter states that Daniels was at one time a certified officer, actually she was certified as a specialized officer only in the area of probation/parole, but once she left employment with the city of Little Rock and did not go to work elsewhere in Arkansas a probation or parole officer, that certification expired six months later. That is according to Brad King, Deputy Director at the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training ("CLEST").


BRAD KING - DEPUTY DIRECTOR AT CLEST

Daniels to this day claims she is a certified police officer and lists it on her resume and on job applications.


Amazingly, Daniels does hold a certification as a Mediator for Circuit Courts.
According to records obtained from Jennifer Taylor, ADR Coordinator with the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, Daniels has held certification as a Mediator since 2013.

JENNIFER TAYLOR -
Apparently just about any warm body can get this certification as Daniels with undergraduate degrees in English and Political Science (double major) and a masters degree in Public Administration and a few hours of sketchy training did.  

 
FROM DANIELS APPLICATION TO BE A MEDIATOR





Daniels has no background in social work, counseling or psychology (except for the mandatory counseling that she was required to attend by the City of Little Rock) can qualify.  Nevermind that she might go off on the parties, she's certified after all.




The resume that accompanied Daniels initial application listed that she held a certification as a police officer.  This would have been true in 2003, but she held no such certification in 2013.  


Daniels might have given false and misleading information on her 2016 Mediation re-certification application by checking boxes that she had not been disciplined or that complaints concerning unethical conduct had been made against her. After all she resigned in midst of an internal investigation into such matters just a month later.






Daniels did work for Judge Alice Gray.  

 
JUDGE ALICE GRAY - PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT


Daniels was hired by Judge Gray to be a case coordinator.  According to attorney's  that had cases before Judge Gray, Carla was overwhelmed and had problems getting cases scheduled. According to confidential sources, Daniels took a job with the Arkansas Department of Correction before Judge Gray could fire her.  Confidential sources told us that Daniels filed a complaint with the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission ("JDDC") about Judge Gray but it was dismissed. 

Complaints made to the JDDC are exempt from Freedom of Information requests.

The anonymous letter asked who referred Daniels for the position at the AMD, Jeff Wood or Tracy Steele?

JEFF WOOD (L) & TRACY STEELE (R)

Tracy Steele is a former state Representative and was the director of the state's Division of Youth Services ("DYS") with the Department of Human Services from August 2013 through October 2014. 

During his tenure as DYS director some ghastly treatment of youthful offenders was revealed in articles published by in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

At the time Steele stated he left DYS to take advantage of a "career opportunity" that he would announce at a later date. 

When Steele was a state legislator, he ran a nonprofit foundation which spent a major portion of it money paying him a salary. At the same time he solicited contributions to the foundation from corporate interests and used his position as a legislator to get state advertising for a newspaper he started that was known for how often it featured photographs of himself.


Apparently the career opportunity was his switching party affiliation, some say due to a grudge he had against state Democratic Party Chairman Vincent Insalaco for his heading Joe Smith's successful campaign for North Little Rock Mayor against Steele. So, Steele announced via Facebook that he was supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson. No doubt a deal had been struck for him to get some cushy appointment to a state job or commission in exchange for his endorsement of Hutchinson if Asa won the election.

And that was exactly the case.  Hutchinson put Steele on his lobbying team in February 2015 for a short period of time and then the Governor rewarded Steele with a $100,000-plus position as the head of the Arkansas Health Services Permit Agency by the end of that month.

Both Steele and Daniels worked closely together at DHS.




Jeff Wood is a state Representative and is the staff Judge Advocate (attorney) for the AMD.  Wood and Daniels were both employed at the Arkansas Department of Human Services during a corresponding period of time and also worked together on ocassion.



We asked both for a comment and only Wood responded.






Wood thought that Stacy Crawford, an Assistant Controller at the Arkansas Department of Human Services would be "a good fit" for the Fiscal Division Manager at the AMD.
 
STACY CRAWFORD - ASSISTANT CONTROLLER ARK DHS

But we know about the shenanigans that led to Carla getting the Fiscal Division Manger's job.

Perhaps it was General Keith Klemmer, that had some influence to assist Carla getting the position once she made the list with more than a little help from Karen Norris. After all the general owed Carla a favor.  What?  Read on....


BRIG. GENERAL KEITH KLEMMER

The AMD wanted to get out of a lease with the Arkansas State Hospital ("ASH") for Ricks Armory and move operations from there to Camp Robinson The lease was to expire in 2057.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Science ("UAMS") wanted buy the land that Ricks Armory was on and several other parcels of land owned by DHS/ASH.

If DHS/ASH would release the AMD from the lease so UAMS could buy the property and if the AMD could come up with around $230,000 to $250,000 from somewhere, they could implement the move to Camp Robinson.

As if a fairy waived a magic wand, UAMS agreed to fork over the $250k and General Klemmer was a happy soldier.  Was Carla instrumental in making this happen?  Breck Hopkins, now retired from DHS won't say and neither will the General.

CLICK TO VIEW THE 2014 DHS DOCUMENT ABOUT RICKS ARMORY

We attempted to contact Brenda Fricklin about the purported video that had Carla making racial remarks.
BRENDA FRICKLIN (ON RIGHT)
We never received a response from Fricklin.

Finally, we tried to talk with Larry Strickland, Human Resources Administrator for DHS about the allegation that he made backdoor visits to see Carla at Camp Robinson.  Strickland said it was "not true".

 
LARRY STRICKLAND - DHS HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATOR
 

We were unable to determine the validity of the allegation about the numerous visits as individuals that have a state issued ID card are not required to sign in at the gate of Camp Robinson, nor does Camp Robinson maintain a log or list of such individuals that visit.

We were able to obtain a copy of an email (you'll see in later in this post) that indicates that Daniels and Strickland had quite a bit on contact with each other after she left DHS and they perhaps traveled to the same destination on occasion

So the AMD began an investigation and boy did individuals that worked under and with Carla Daniels have a lot to say.  

Lets take a look at the heavily redacted sworn statements of some AMD employees.

The first statement we will review it that of Stanley B. Crisp, Public of Public Safety Director.


STANLEY B. CRISP - HE HAD A WATCHFUL EYE ON DANIELS

 



What did Crisp have to say about Daniels that had to be redacted before it was released to the public?  It had to be bad.

Daniels wanted Crisp to hire her son Rashaad. Remember, we previously posted that he had a history of domestic violence. He had no business being employed as a security officer.









The next statement is that of Da'Vetta L. Flowers, a Personnel Manager.


DA'VETTA FLOWERS - SAW THE EFFECT THAT DANIELS HAD ON EMPLOYEES










 

  




Wow.  Several pages of Flower's statement were redacted.  No doubt more bad stuff about Carla.

Next let's look at the statement of Terri Mack, a Budget Specialist.


TERRI MACK - EMPLOYEES ARE FLOATING ON EGGSHELLS







Dang those damn redactionsObviously she had nothing good to say about Carla either.

Now let's look at the statement of Betty Loujean McDougal, a Human Resources Representative.


LOUJEAN MCDOUGAL - NOTICED POWER STRUGGLE AT DSR








 
More Redactions! Must be a lot of bad stuff to have to be all blacked out.

Let's move on the the statement of Erica McGraw, an administrative analyst.

ERICA MCGRAW - KNOWS THE REAL CARLA











Oh to have x-ray vision.  All that juicy information blacked out.

Never fear! We have obtained a file that Erica McGraw complied in February 2016 about Carla and the shenanigans Carla was involved in at the DSR .  No redactions this time!









NOTICE HOW IMPORTANT CARLA IS - SHE IS SO BUSY SHE NEEDS SOMEONE TO PLAN HER DAY-TO-DAY SCHEDULE!

NOTICE THE MENTION OF LARRY STRICKLAND



















 







It seems that Carla Daniels was responsible for quite a bit of turmoil at the AMD.


Next up is the statement of Donna Parker, a Procurement Specialist.

DONNA PARKER
 






Notice how all these employees are saying the same sort of things about the terrible working conditions since Carla Daniels came on board at the AMD.

All of these employees are under horrific stress and some even dreaded going to work.

So in September 2016, they decided that maybe the anonymous letter had a lot of truth in it, after all most of the employees in the DSR, except for one (we'll have a special post about him in the coming days), had detailed enough damaging information about Carla and what she was up to that they suspended Carla.  

A general practice in internal investigations is to get the subject out of the way so that they cannot exert influence or harass potential witnesses and destroy evidence.

We are surprised that it took them so long to suspend Carla.  After all the investigation began in June and they didn't suspend her until September.

Perhaps it was this incident that prompted the late decision to get Carla off Camp Robinson until they could decide how they were going to fire her.
 
Just prior to Carla's suspension, one employee quit and tried to end their life due to conditions at work that were a direct result of Carla Daniels.



We are protecting the individuals right to privacy by redacting their identifying information.

This incident occurred on September 8th, Carl was suspended on September 20th and she resigned her position on September 20th.






Coincidence?  We think not.  Perhaps someone told Carla that she was going to be fired or demoted.  By resigning Carla could try and salvage her careerGood luck with that.

Had Carla Daniels not resigned, we believe that the AMD would  have fired her.  It is apparent that the internal investigation found enough evidence to support her termination for cause, even the heavily redacted document gives us probable cause and a preponderance of evidence to draw that conclusion.











The AMD will try hard to coverup this sorry affair and sweep the damage Carla Daniels caused under a rug.  But the effects of their improperly hiring Carla will have a lasting impact on their reputation and the flawed investigation did nothing to help it.


************

Carla Daniels has filed a civil lawsuit against Phyllis Harrington for slander and defamation.  The lawsuit states that Harrington sent the anonymous letter about Daniels.  There is bad blood between Daniels and Harrington as a result of issues with Daniel's son Rashaad and a daughter of Harrington's.





Daniels is represented by Luther Sutter.

Sutter is the attorney that was involved in an alleged physical altercation with Arkansas State Treasurer Dennis Milligan eariler this year. CLICK FOR MORE INFO

In email correspondence with Sutter in an attempt to get reactions to our October post (which he politely declined) we were told some "interesting new information" would be forthcoming.  We are still waiting on it.




Daniels does not have any chance at all in prevailing in this lawsuit. 

Daniels resigned.  Daniels could have stayed on paid suspension and let the chips fall where they may, but she knew her days were numbered at the AMD based on what the investigation found, not about her hiring, but the terrible job she was doing and the effect her continued presence was having on other AMD employees.

The AMD did not suspend her based on unsubstantiated rumors or innuendo, they had concrete, documented incidents of wrong doing to take that drastic action and to make recommendations to clean house and revamp policy.  

Just about all of the accusations about Carla Daniels  in the anonymous letter were true.  We proved that and supplied the supporting documents. 

Heck, even the AMD believed it was sent by an employee.  Scroll back up and read the comments of Lt. Col. Lynch again.

Carla Daniels own actions and behavior damaged what little "good" reputation she had and now that she cannot hide her past or control the flow of information, the details about the real Carla Daniels are out there for all to see.

The facts about Daniels' sons are indisputable as well as we have posted that information and supporting documentation.

In their case, the apples didn't fall very far from the tree.





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