KATV rooted through expenditures of state officeholders and John Thurston, recently upgraded from land commissioner to secretary of state, led the pack in expenses.
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Thurston, who took office in January, spent $68,000 on new furnishings and other improvements. He told KATV the office is not just a place to have meetings but a “centerpiece” for the state.
Expenses included new paint and a $6,000 door, along with a new conference table assorted desks and tables, a $1,400 chair and a $5,894 coffee brewer that cost $1,600 to install.
Thurston gave KATV a tour and was happy to display the purchases.
“I hope that Arkansans would actually be proud,” he said. “I mean, it cost a lot of money. I know that. I kind of choke every time I see what a chair costs or what conference table cost because it is a lot of money. But, however, this is the most spectacular place in Arkansas.”
Other officials were more careful. Gov. Asa Hutchinson picked up a bookcase for $10 from state surplus.
As yet, Thurston hasn’t bought a boat rig suitable for bass fishing as he did when land commissioner.
Treasurer Dennis Milligan, who won the spending sweepstakes during KATV’s last review, with more than $50,000 in interior designer redecorating, avoided scrutiny this go-round.