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Contact(s):Scott Whiteley Carter

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


(Little Rock, AR – January 10, 2007) Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola today announced the members of his Independent Review Committee which will examine policies, procedures, and spending practices of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and its parent body, the Advertising and Promotion Commission. The Mayor announced his intention to form this body at the January 2, 2007, meeting of the Little Rock City Board.

The members of the task force are:

Judge John Plegge, (ret.). Judge Plegge served as Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial District (Pulaski and Perry Counties) from 1989 - 2003. Judge Plegge is a certified mediator and arbitrator. He is of counsel with the law firm of Watts, Donovan, & Tilley, P.A. Mayor Stodola has appointed Judge Plegge to serve as Chair of the Committee.

Paula Casey. Ms. Casey is the former U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and is currently a law professor at the William F. Bowen School of Law at UALR;

John Steuri. Mr. Steuri is former CEO of Systematics, Inc., and ALLTEL Information Services, Inc. He was previously a veteran executive with IBM and is a member of the Finance Committee of the Arkansas Community Foundation.
Jack Murphy. Mr. Murphy is the former Finance Director for the City of Little Rock from 1954 to 1989. Mr. Murphy has also served as interim CEO of the Metropolitan Emergency Management Service (MEMS) and for ten years served as Chair of the Ambulance Authority which governs MEMS;

Dr. Marian Lacey. Dr. Lacey is the former Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools of the Little Rock School District, a former English teacher, and served as principal of Horace Mann Magnet School. Dr. Lacey retired from the Little Rock School District after having been an employee from 1974 to 2005;

Orville Abrams, CPA. Mr. Abrams is with Abrams CPA Services, Inc. He formerly worked for the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission and Arkansas Department of Economic Development as Director over Small Businesses and International Marketing from 1988-1999. Mr. Abrams is a graduate of Little Rock Central High School, the University of Central Arkansas, and Webster University;

Mike Schaufele, CPA. Mr. Schaufele has been president of L. Cotton Thomas Co., CPAs since 1992. Mr. Schaufele is a 1971 graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He has been a CPA since 1973 and with L. Cotton Thomas Co., CPA’s since 1979. He holds a Certificate of Excellence in Governmental Auditing and has conducted audits since 1981 of governmental agencies such as Little Rock Waterworks, Little Rock National Airport, Metrocenter, and the Museum of Discovery.

“I am grateful to these outstanding individuals for agreeing to serve,” said Mayor Stodola. “Their expertise, experience, and advice will be important as the City works to rebuild the public’s trust in the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and, by extension, in City government. I will look forward to their findings. I hope the City will receive a final report before the end of February.”


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