The Case of Representative Bobby Pierce

For no particular reason, we happened this weekend on the expense reimbursement invoicing of State Representative Bobby Pierce. Truly it was a random selection. But oh my goodness, how interesting a find it was.

As you can see on our expense reimbursement website, Representative Pierce is billing the state $2,350 a month for “an office, phone and furniture” provided to him as a state representative by (and at) a business he owns, “Telebooth, Inc.” The invoice is comical. It reads that “Telebooth, Inc. [h]ereby furnishes Representative Pierce an office, phone and furniture at $2350 per month.” And guess who signs the invoices for Rep. Pierce’s services? Why Bobby Pierce, the President of Telebooth, Inc., of course. So Bobby Pierce proprietor is billing the state for providing rent, a phone, and furniture to Bobby Pierce, State representative. Kind of cozy, don’t you think?

And here is where it gets really interesting. Just for fun, I looked up the address for Telebooth, Inc. on Google Maps. You may be interested in doing the same. Visit maps.google.com, and then enter Telebooth’s address in the search box: 25727 Neighborhood Drive, Hensley, AR

You will see as I did a prefabricated steel building. It looks to be about 22’x36’ feet. It is clearly a commercial building like you would see for a small car repair business. As you look at the sky view of the building, you may be struck as we were that somewhere in that industrial steel building is an office the state pays $2,350 a month for rent, a phone, and furniture use.

So let’s say a phone costs the state $50 a month. And let’s say we are paying a generous $100 a month to rent a desk, a couple of chairs, and a small sofa. That leaves $2,200 a month for renting the office itself. In that building. A steel prefab building. In Hensley, Arkansas.

We wondered what real estate goes for in Hensley, Arkansas, so we went on a web search. We found a nice looking 1,344 square ft. home with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths selling for $59,700. The calculator on the website we looked at said a monthly mortgage payment would be about $300 a month. But let’s say rent would be a generous twice that, so let’s call it $600 a month. But we’re paying Bobby Pierce, President of Telebooth $2,200 a month to rent “an office” in a pre-fab building in the same town for Representative Bobby Pierce.

And here is where it gets really interesting. Hensley, Arkansas, where Representative Pierce has an office (presumably to meet with constituents), is not even in Representative Pierce’s district. But it happens to be where Bobby Pierce presides over Telebooth, Inc. And where the State of Arkansas spends $2,350 a month on “expense reimbursements.”

How about that.

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