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UCA former chief of staff turns himself in

Jack Gillean plans to plead not guilty, attorney says.

Posted: October 10, 2012 - 5:22pm

The former chief of staff at the University of Central Arkansas turned himself in to officials at the Faulkner County Jail on Wednesday morning, days after telling an investigator he would do so.

Jack Gillean, 55, of 415 Ramble St. in Hot Springs, was booked at the jail at about 10:12 a.m. He bonded out at 10:23 a.m. with a $17,825 bail and received a Nov. 19 arraignment date, according to jail records and Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland.

Gillean is accused of giving his keys to a UCA student who stole test exams, filing an untrue insurance claim and lying on a credit application before he resigned suddenly from his UCA position in June. He was charged Friday with four felonies and a misdemeanor. On Saturday, he told an investigator he would turn himself in, then failed to do so until Wednesday.

Gillean’s attorney Nicki Nicolo, of North Little Rock, said the time period for Gillean turning himself in to authorities was not atypical considering Monday was a holiday and Gillean needed to talk with his attorneys.

“He wasn’t on the lam,” Nicolo said. “He was waiting to talk to us. There’s not really a delay.”

A message left on a phone listed as Gillean’s also was not returned.

If found guilty, Gillean could face 36 years maximum for all felony counts.

Gillean, two of his sisters and Nicolo went to the jail Wednesday morning. Nicolo said Gillean plans to plead not guilty at the November hearing and fight the charges against him.

“He’s doing well considering the false allegations against him,” Nicolo said. “He’s holding his chin up, and he’s ready to fight.”

The charges against Gillean stem from police catching Cameron Stark, 24, after he used Gillean’s master keys to break into McCastlain Hall earlier this year. Stark told investigators Gillean gave him a set of keys to break into offices and steal exams “so he could cheat on tests,” according to the affidavit filed Friday.

Stark was listed on UCA’s Dean’s List for the spring 2012 semester, according to a UCA news release issued this summer. He was also listed on Dean’s Lists for 2008 — when he was a freshman — and 2009 and 2010, according to information from the UCA website. He is no longer enrolled at UCA, spokesman Jeff Pitchford said previously.

Stark received immunity for his testimony against Gillean, Hiland confirmed Friday.

Stark has had at least one previous run in with law enforcement. An aggravated assault charge filed against Stark November 2011 was dismissed this past April, according to records at the Faulkner County Courthouse.

A phone number for Stark went straight to voicemail, which had not yet been set up, Wednesday afternoon. Stark has not responded to multiple messages left on Facebook, an online social networking site.

Stark had been a student worker in the President’s Office until Gillean fired him in April 2011, according to the affidavit.

Gillean fired Stark from his student worker position and ended their “personal relationship” after Stark was involved in an accident on Irby Drive while driving Gillean’s motorcycle, according to the affidavit. Gillean later filed an insurance claim saying he was riding the motorcycle and received about $4,600 to replace it, the record shows. He also signed a credit application to buy a Ford, Mustang, that said the man with whom he lived was “assistant chief of staff” at UCA when he was not, according to the courthouse document.

According to the affidavit, several witnesses corroborated Stark’s account that Gillean repeatedly provided keys to allow Stark to steal exams. One witness also said she saw Stark’s motorcycle accident and that Stark was the driver.

The affidavit from Friday addresses break-ins in 2011, but in January 2012 faculty and staff in McAlister and McCastlain halls reported paperwork rifled through and thefts when their offices had been locked. In some cases, medication was stolen. No drug charges have been filed.

Hiland said the case against Gillean is ongoing and more charges may be filed.

Gillean joins several other UCA officials who have been charged with wrongdoing in the past few years.

Former President Allen Meadors is expected to be arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a public document Nov. 19, the same day as Gillean. The president before Meadors, Lu Hardin, was convicted of wire fraud and money laundering in 2011.

Pitchford said UCA had no comment on Gillean.

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Cornbresha4Change
24
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Cornbresha4Change 10/11/12 - 10:18 am
7
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This is sad

Nothing bothers me more than cheaters. This Stark fellow got ahead of the rest of his peers by stealing exams. This is unacceptable. I don't know if he got a degree, but if he did, he should be stripped of it. What a lazy punk.

Igor Rabinowitz
9460
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Igor Rabinowitz 10/11/12 - 10:45 am
5
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This story...

... was up, had comments, now it's still up, but the comments are gone.

moi
178
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moi 10/11/12 - 06:44 pm
4
1
UCA

UCA was a great college that employed ethical admin and professors. This whole sordid "growth/hormonal mess" began with Win Thompson and the first refurbishment of the college president's home. I can't believe Massey Hardware is still called Carmen's Antiques. How stoopid can one public university be?

Can someone get on the stick...

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