September 26, 2023

Contact: Gennie Diaz


[email protected]

For AR People requests audit of Governor’s lectern purchase, asks public to take action

LITTLE ROCK – In an effort to uphold transparency in government and accountability of taxpayer funds, For AR People is submitting a formal audit request to Arkansas’s Office of Legislative Audit. The audit request pertains to Governor Sarah Sanders’ purchase order for a nearly $19,000 lectern, originally paid for with taxpayer money, that was only apparently produced after days of public scrutiny and outcry. For AR People is also submitting a complaint to the Office of the Attorney General.

Arkansans deserve to know details of the podium purchase as well as other expenditures surrounding the Governor’s trip to Europe in June 2023. It’s of note that there are few official options for citizens seeking accountability from state government. 

“The facts surrounding the purchase of this lectern — the refusal of the Governor’s office to properly follow state procurement law, the delay in showing the public what their tax dollars bought, the questions about Virginia Beckett and Hannah Stone’s trip to Paris at the same time as the Governor and their involvement in the January 6th insurrection, and most recently, the Governor’s attempt to pass off an old lectern as the newly purchased one — have raised many questions that Arkansans deserve to have answered,” said Sam Watson, Content Director for For AR People.

“We’re calling on the Governor to be transparent about this purchase and to respect Arkansans enough to tell us the truth,” Watson said.

For AR People is dedicated to the principle that all residents deserve to have transparency in government and a seat at the table of democracy. We are asking Arkansans to contact their legislators and respectfully request an audit of the Governor’s recent expenditures.

The General Assembly must demand answers from the executive branch and provide an accounting to their constituents for how taxpayer dollars are spent at the highest level of state government. Contact information for all legislators can be found here.   

As always, For AR People is committed to holding public leaders accountable, promoting transparency in state government, and empowering residents to be part of the solution to making a better, more equitable Arkansas.  


For AR People is a nonprofit organization that advances a responsible democracy in Arkansas by educating the public about issues that impact our daily lives and holding politicians accountable. We provide opportunities for Arkansans to speak up for their values, like transparency and accountability in state government, and build a stronger state that works for everyone.