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Former Arkansas police chief gets probation for theft charge

March 7, 2019

FLIPPIN, Ark. (AP) — A former police chief in northern Arkansas who was accused using a city credit card to steal public funds has been sentenced to 20 years of probation after taking a plea deal.

The felony theft charge carried a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.

The Baxter Bulletin reports Marion County Circuit Court Judge John Putman ordered ex-Flippin Police Chief Ronald “Dusty” Smith to pay the city $72,118 in restitution.

Putman told the attorneys that the plea deal is unusual because many people would expect a police officer who stole money and jeopardized cases to get jail time.

An affidavit filed in the case shows Smith allegedly spent around $63,718.84 on a city credit card. The document noted Smith had access to government funds through police, city and drug-buy accounts.

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Information from: The Baxter Bulletin, http://www.baxterbulletin.com