Son-in-law and equipment salesman also charged in case
by Karen Sherrell
A former Izard County judge and two other men have been arrested following a nine month investigation into discrepancies of equipment purchases and other items involving the county judge’s office, and taxpayer’s money.
David Sherrell, Izard County Judge for three terms, from 2011 to 2016, has been charged with criminal use of property or laundering criminal proceeds, two counts of forgery, and theft of property, all four felonies.
Sixteenth Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer opened an investigation earlier this year, after reviewing alleged discrepancies during Sherrell’s term, specifically from March 2015 through December 2016.
According to court affidavits filed by Meyer on November 1 containing information from Dennis Simons, investigator with the Arkansas State Police, Sherrell’s charges were in connection with the purchase and sale of a 2001 Ameritrail 20 ton trailer, purchases of a John Deere 670B road grader and a Case 1150K bulldozer, and theft of tools and equipment in the amount of $3,500, all belonging to Izard County.
Affidavit and court filings
During Simons’ investigation, he discovered the purchase of two dump trucks for the Izard County Road Department in June of 2015.
Jeremy Purdue, of Coal Creek, LLC Truck and Equipment Sales, was approached by Sherrell for the purchase of the dump trucks along with an equipment trailer. Sherrell told the company that he could not obtain financing on the trailer and asked them to increase the price of the dump trucks to include the price of the trailer. Coal Creek presented two invoices to Sherrell for his signature, one for the two dump trucks totaling $83,000, and a second invoice for the trailer at no cost. The second invoice was not found in the county records, but was provided by Coal Creek.
The trailer was delivered on June 26, 2015 and Sherrell took personal possession of it. Perdue estimated the value of the trailer between $7,000 and $7,500. In July 2015, the Izard County Quorum Court approved financing the dump trucks, and the trailer acquisition was not disclosed to the Quorum Court. In November 2015 Sherrell arranged for the sale of the trailer from his son-in-law, Matt Orf, to the county. Orf presented a document that stated he was the owner of the trailer, and had the authority to sell the trailer, with Sherrell’s signature of approval. Sherrell approved to pay Orf $9,250 for the trailer, and on November 18, 2015, the county delivered a check for $9,250 to Sherrell. The check was endorsed by Orf and Sherrell and bank records show on that date that $3,000 was deposited in the Sherrell Farm Account, $3,000 was deposited in the Sherrell personal account, and $3,250 was cashed. Simons’ summary in the trailer investigation stated, “Izard County buys the trailer a second time, but this second time, the county actually receives the trailer.”
In 2016, auditors discovered the trailer transaction was not approved by the Quorum Court, which is required for transactions with family members. Sherrell approached the court to approve the purchase of the trailer from Orf, which was done on August 2, 2016.
According to the arrest warrant, Matt Orf, age 39 of Oxford, has been charged with criminal use of property or laundering criminal proceeds, a class c felony, in connection with the sale of the trailer.
In June 2015, Sherrell purchased a pair of road graders from Stibling Equipment LLC, for the Izard County Road Department. The cost of the graders was $143,000 for a John Deere 670G, and $20,000 for a John Deere 670B. Neither the customer order or invoices were found in county records, they were given to investigators by Stribling, and were dated June 26, 2016. Found in county records was a fraudulent invoice, not created by Stribling, for the sale of a single road grader, 670G, to the county for $163,000. On July 2, 2015, Stribling salesman Paul Shuttleworth signed the fraudulent bill of sale in Sherrell’s office. The fraudulent bill of sale was located in county payment records. Sherrell presented the purchase of the 670G road grader for $163,000 to the Quorum Court and on July 6, 2015, the court approved financing. Sherrell never disclosed the acquisition of the 670B road grader to the court, or road department. Simons’ summary in the road grader investigation stated, “Izard County unwittingly pays for the 670B road grader and Sherrell takes unauthorized personal possession of the 670B road grader.” Almost a year and a half later, following Sherrell’s defeat in the November 2016 election, the 670B road grader appeared at the county road shop, in December 2016. It was never listed in the Road Department equipment inventory during Sherrell’s term of office. The hours of operation on the 670B road grader were 11,551 at the time of sale in June 2015, and 11,721 in December 2016.
Paul Shuttleworth, age 52 of Mountain View has been charged with forgery in the second degree, a class c felony, in connection with the purchase of the road graders.
In September 2016, Sherrell arranged to purchase a used Case 1150K bulldozer from Scott Equipment Company LLC, and on September 2, 2016, he took possession of the bulldozer, which was receipted as a demo. Sherrell signed a driver receipt which noted Izard County as the customer. He hauled the dozer to his personal farm and unloaded it. On September 12, 2016 Scott created a retail order form indicating Sherrell as the purchaser of the dozer, for the amount of $43,000. Sherrell’s signature appeared on the order. Scott subsequently billed Sherrell for $43,000, sent to his home address, on September 30 and October 17, 2016. Later, Scott invoiced Izard County in the amount of $58,000 for the dozer, indicating a base cost and additional cost of repairs at 15,000. Other information showed Sherrell had the dozer tracks replaced by his mechanic while at his farm. Additionally he paid a county employee out of his own pocket to work on the dozer on his property. Witnessess had seen Sherrell operating the dozer making improvements to his property. County Road Department employee Jesse Morgan picked up the dozer from Sherrell’s farm and returned it to Scott. On November 21, Scott issued an invoice to the county for $60,000, indicating the dozer had a new undercarriage, and noted that the $2,000 increase was due to Sherrell indicating that he wanted the air conditioning fixed. On December 6, 2016, the Quorum Court approved the purchase of the dozer. Another repair order dated December 29, 2016 in the amount of $3,285.34 from Scott, was paid by the county on January 11, 2017. The dozer was then delivered to the road department on January 23 with significant hydraulic issues. The dozer was never taken to the county road shop for use during Sherrell’s term in office.
In March 2015, Sherrell purchased miscellaneous tools and equipment for the Izard County Road Department, from Darren Bates, for the amount of $3,500. County employees accompanied Sherrell to pick up the tools and some of the equipment was dropped off at Sherrell’s farm, including a 100 gallon air compressor and assorted tools. Sherrell requested payment by Izard County to Bates for $3,500, and a check was issued on April 1, 2015. On May 31 of this year, a search warrant was served at the Sherrell residence by investigators with Arkansas State Police. Investigators recovered multiple items identified by Bates as having been purchased by Sherrell, for Izard County.
Sherrell, age 58 of Oxford, surrendered to authorities at the Izard County Jail in Melbourne on November 1, and was released on a $10,000 bond. Orf and Shuttleworth surrendered to authorities the next day and were released on their own recognizance.

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