News Releases

Attorney General Griffin Announces Arrests of Cotton Plant City Employees on Theft Charges

Griffin: ‘Stealing from the city that employs you is an affront to the hardworking taxpayers that pay you’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Tim Griffin issued the following statement announcing the arrest of Katrina Criswell, 47, and Lakeyia Alexander, 29, both Cotton Plant city employees, on charges of Theft of Property, both D Felonies:

“Those who work in local government hold a special public trust, as they are closest to the people. Both of the accused falsified their time sheets to claim more hours than they were authorized to work, thus increasing their salary without the knowledge and approval of the Mayor of Cotton Plant or the City Council. Stealing from the city that employs you is an affront to the hardworking taxpayers that pay you.

“I thank the special agents of my office’s Public Integrity Unit for their investigation leading to today’s arrests. I also extend gratitude to officers of the Augusta Police Department and deputies of the Woodruff County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.”

Both Criswell and Alexander worked for the Cotton Plant Mayor’s Office. In February 2023, while the mayor was out of office on medical leave, they falsified their time sheets to claim more hours worked than the 20 hours per week budgeted for them. The increased hours resulted in more than $5,000 in unauthorized wages for both Criswell and Alexander.

The pair are being held in the Woodruff County Jail.

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About Attorney General Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin was sworn in as the 57th Attorney General of Arkansas on January 10, 2023, having previously served as the state’s 20th Lieutenant Governor from 2015-2023. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District, where he served on the House Committee on Ways and Means, House Armed Services Committee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Ethics and House Committee on the Judiciary while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority.

Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps for more than 27 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Mosul, Iraq.

He is currently serving as the Commander of the 2d Legal Operations Detachment in New Orleans, Louisiana. His previous assignments include serving as the Commander of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment at Fort Liberty (née Bragg), North Carolina, and as a Senior Legislative Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Griffin earned a master’s degree in strategic studies as a Distinguished Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Griffin also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush; Special Assistant to Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas; Senior Investigative Counsel, Government Reform and Oversight Committee, U.S. House of Representatives; and Associate Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett, In re: HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway, and Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He attended graduate school at Oxford University. He is admitted to practice law in Arkansas (active) and Louisiana (inactive). Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife, Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.