Contractors Hope, Kullander Won't Be Retried, Charges Dismissed

by Gwen Moritz  on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 11:05 am   1 min read

Little Rock area contractors Alan Hope and Mikel Kullander will not be retried on charges that they defrauded the federal government on contracts intended for companies owned by disabled veterans.

A mistrial was declared in September when the federal court jury that heard five days of testimony was unable to reach a verdict. The U.S. Attorney's Office, led at the time by Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris, originally intended to retry the case, and a new trial was set for April.

But on Monday, newly appointed U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland filed a motion to dismiss the indictment and to unfreeze a bank account. No explanation was given in the motion, and a spokesman said Hiland's office would have no comment on the case. U.S. District Judge H. Leon Holmes, who presided over the trial, granted the motion on Tuesday.

Tim Dudley, who represented Hope, called the development "very good news" and said it came as a surprise because the defense had no pending motions to dismiss the case and was preparing for another trial. "I didn't have anything to do with it," Dudley said.

Hope, president of Powers of Arkansas in North Little Rock, and Kullander, owner of Kullander Construction Co. in Little Rock, were indicted in December on multiple felony counts related to an alleged scheme to get millions of dollars in federal contracts by falsely claiming another company they formed in 2007, DAV Construction Co., was headed by a disabled veteran.

Hope originally faced 30 counts and Kullander 31, but two counts against Hope and three against Kullander were dismissed earlier.

 

 

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