Judge Ben Cross

The following and more can be found at ArkTimes.com:

A new wrinkle in Pope County,  where controversy brews over a casino project. Ben Cross, the new county judge, took office Jan. 1 to find the previous judge, Jim Ed Gibson, stripped it of records before departing.

"The place was stripped of everything including paper clips," Cross said. "I had to plug in phones. We don't have computers. They literally cleaned the office of everything."

File cabinets that held paper records for the last four years are empty, he said. Computer towers with hard drives are gone.

When I commented that there are a lot of questions to be answered, Cross responded: "You have to eat an iceberg one chip at a time."

Read more about Brantley's FOI request and more on the casino issue here.

[RVN has called Judge Cross and is awaiting a return phone call]