The Arkansas Court of Appeals today upheld a Board of Review decision that a former employee of Altes Sanitation in Fort Smith was entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. The decision was upheld without comment, as is customary.
Routine stuff typically. Except, this was the case in which state Rep. Denny Altes threw some ill-chosen words around at the Court of Appeals about holding up agency budgets because he wasn’t happy about the case.
The case has a long history. The workforce services agency originally denied Bobby Gaines’ claim for benefits following his discharge from the sanitation company run by Altes’ son. But the appeals tribunal reversed the finding. Altes Sanitation then failed to get its appeal of that ruling to the Board of Review on time. That ended the case. Altes Sanitation tried to supplement the record with letters to the Court of Appeals, but to no avail. Gaines, a driver, said he’d fought with another laborer only in self-defense in response to an attack.
Denny Altes told a Court of Appeals employee he’d hold somebody’s budget up if the unemployment system wasn’t “fixed.” Chief Judge Larry Vaught said he wouldn’t pursue an ethics complaint against Altes for trying to throw his weight around.