Ex-convict appointed to new post in eastern Arkansas city

Photo: West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon (left) stands with Tawana Bailey and former Arkansas legislator Steven B. Jones. Photo: Courtesy Talk Business Arkansas.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An ex-convict who pleaded guilty to bribery has been tapped to run an Arkansas city’s newly created department.

West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon appointed Steven Jones as director of
business and community relations, which will focus on projects that enhance the city’s relationship with businesses and residents.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Jones was the deputy director of the
Arkansas Department of Human Services overseeing Medicaid when he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in 2016 for his involvement in a bribery scheme. Authorities say Jones performed official acts to benefit Ted Suhl, the owner of two mental health businesses that served children and received Medicaid funds.

The mayor and Jones didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment
Tuesday.

West Memphis council member James Holt Sr. says the council will consider
Jones’ appointment next month.

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