KATV rooted through expenditures of state officeholders and John Thurston, recently upgraded from land commissioner to secretary of state, led the pack in expenses.
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.