Questions about Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Delton Wright’s place of residence have been referred to Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter after a fire at a house where Wright said he lived but is not in his district.
On Sept. 11, County Judge Gerald Robinson sent Hunter a letter saying that allegations that Wright does not live in his district have come up several times since Robinson took office Jan. 1.
According a story in The Commercial’s archives, Wright was seeking his eighth term on the Quorum Court in 2014 and has been reelected twice since then, 2016 and 2018. His address on a political practices form he file out for the 2018 election showed he lived at 1801 S. Linden St., Apt. A. That form is submitted to the County Clerk under oath and is retained for several years.
In his letter, Robinson cited a fire that occurred Sept. 10 when Wright contacted MECA to report that his truck was on fire close to a garage at his home at 19 W. Southern Pines Drive. Robinson went on in the letter to say that further inquires into social media posts appear to show that the address on Southern Pines Drive has been Wright’s primary residence since at least 2017.
Records from the Jefferson County Assessor’s Office showed thatWright apparently acquired the property on Southern Pines Drive in 2005 an sold the apartments he had owned as Wright Properties to Tompkins Street Inc., a Utah firm in 2018.
In addition, information sent to Hunter included social media postings dating back to 2017 and showing parties and other activities at the house on Southern Pines Drive, as well as a digital invitation to a party for two new coaches at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff who were hired before the 2018-2019 basketball and volleyball seasons. Comments from individuals who attended the events were also collected and are included.
Wright’s personal property assessment for 2019 listed the address on Southern Pines Drive and two vehicles.
“My primary concern is simple,” Robinson said in the letter to Hunter. “Elected officials should serve where they reside and not defraud the taxpayers of years of per diem and health insurance in an effort to skirt the laws of the state and county for their personal benefits.”
Contacted by telephone Tuesday afternoon, Wright declined to comment on Robinson’s letter or allegations.
Also in the letter, Robinson said Wright removed a county trailer from county property without permission and returned it later in the day. Surveillance video and statements from two county employees were among the items placed on a zip drive and given to Hunter.
Robinson asked for the legal status of Wright’s removal of county property and then ended his letter to Hunter by saying “I strongly believe that it is my fiduciary responsibility to report these matters so that they can be investigated by the proper authorities.”