There are “serious legal concerns” about the contract to produce LITFest between the city of Little Rock and the consulting firm Think Rubix, City Attorney Tom Carpenter said in a letter to Major Frank Scott Jr. and members of the Board of Directors in a Friday letter.
The Arkansas Times received a copy of letter as part of a Freedom of Information request.
Carpenter cites an undated Zoom conference call between Kendra Pruittchief of staff to Scott, other representatives of the city; Tristan Wilkerson, head of Think Rubix; and other Think Rubix employees, which Matt Campbell of The Blue Hog Report reported on yesterday. In the call, which happened before the LITFest contract was signed, Pruitt acknowledges that the festival will likely cost into the six figures and that the city will provide its resources, including from the Little Rock Police, Public Works and Parks departments “at evidently no cost for materials, overtime, or other matters,” Carpenter says.
But Carpenter says the most important thing the call reveals is that the major’s office wanted to keep the matter from reaching the board. The city’s policy is that all contracts up to $50,000 can be authorized by the city manager without board consideration. Think Rubix’s contract to produce the festival is for $45,000.
In the call, Wilkerson asked if it was possible to increase that contract amount. Pruitt responded, “If we go above [$50,000] within this contract, that would trigger a need to go before a board. It becomes political at that point. That would just be something we’d have to deal with there. I think it’s possible to leverage some sponsorship dollars for additional work as necessary because that wouldn’t be city money and therefore wouldn’t require that political step if you will. … I don’t