KFSM in Fort Smith is reporting the filing of a police complaint against state Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith over payments made for roof repair to an apartment complex.
According to the report, Fort Smith City Director Keith Lau, who is a property manager, told police Files owes him $33,200 paid to repair a hail-damaged roof at the Huntington Chase Apartments. Lau said he wrote checks, but work didn’t start until February. Then, shingles on two buildings didn’t match and he said he learned a subcontractor had been hired for the work. He said Files had not produced requested invoices to show money had been spent on his project. When he asked for his money back, Files reportedly told Lau he didn’t have it.
The matter remains under investigation, the TV report said. I’ve sent an email to Files asking for a response. There’s no indication on-line of a formal charge against Files.
He’s endured a series of financial reverses in his construction business, once getting a loan from lobbyist Bruce Hawkins to help pay liens. There have been ongoing problems with his failure to deliver on promised work on a city development, which benefited in part from state surplus money guided to the project. He also was recently accused of nonpayment of workers on another project. Court records show he’s defendant in two mortgage foreclosure actions. He has acknowledged business difficulties, but has disputed reports that he’d falsified any records in his dealings.