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theophile v. Director, Dep't of Workforce Servs.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

September 17, 2014

ALLYSON THEOPHILE, APPELLANT
v.
DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE SERVICES, and ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE U.S. COURT, APPELLEES

Page 67

APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS BOARD OF REVIEW, NO. 2013-BR-02302.

Flinn Law Firm, P.A., by: Jennifer Williams Flinn, for appellant.

Phyllis A. Edwards, for appellee.

WOOD and BROWN, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 68

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge.

The Arkansas Board of Review (Board) affirmed the denial of benefits to Allyson Theophile, ruling that she did not voluntarily resign from her employment, but that she was discharged for misconduct, making her ineligible for unemployment-compensation benefits. Theophile argues on appeal that the Board's decision is not supported by substantial evidence. We affirm.

I. Statement of Facts

Theophile was employed by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Probation and Pretrial Services in the Eastern District of Arkansas when she submitted her resignation in lieu of termination, effective March 25, 2013. Thereafter, Theophile applied for unemployment compensation benefits. Appellee Arkansas Department of Workforce Services determined that Theophile was disqualified from receiving benefits because she had voluntarily resigned.

At the telephonic hearing before the Arkansas Appeal Tribunal on June 26, 2013, the hearing officer noted that the issue before the tribunal was whether Theophile voluntarily left, was discharged, or was suspended from last work and whether the circumstances of the separation entitled her to benefits in accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated section 11-10-513 (Repl. 2012) or section 11-10-514 (Supp. 2013).

Theophile testified that she began her work for the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Offices in Los Angeles, working in the Central District of California for fifteen years. She moved to Little Rock on June 4, 2012, because she was promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief U.S. Probation Officer.

The record reflects that Theophile received a " Notice of Proposed Adverse Action" from Rebecca Howell, Deputy Chief Probation Officer for the Eastern District of Arkansas, on December 19, 2012. The notice stated that in June, July, and November 2012, Theophile withdrew money on her government-issued travel card for personal expenses, violating statute, policies, and the Code of Conduct for Judiciary Employees. The notice stated that Theophile converted public funds for personal use, knowing that it was improper and a misuse of the government-issued credit card. The notice proposed to Theophile that the following actions be taken:

1) written reprimand; 2) withhold next wage increase . . . ; 3) extend probationary period until December 31, 2013; 4) suspended without pay for five days; and 5) pay your government ...

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