• Dennis McCaslin

President of Fort Smith non-profit hit with $4952.98 judgment after she fails to show up for court

Darla Lackey

The founder and board president of a controversial non-profit organization in Fort Smith was a no-show in civil court Wednesday mornings in a case in which her former landlord was suing her for unpaid rent and damages he says occurred to the building during the twenty-four hours he allowed her access to remove her property last month.

The judge issued a default judgment in the amount of $4952. 98 to Fort Smith property owner Garold Cozart against Pay It Forward Fort Smith president Darla Lackey. The judge stated that Cozart could seek garnishment of wages and/or seek to have property seized in order to settle the judgment.

Judge Wendy Sharum, who was the sitting judge on the day of the original eviction, recused herself from Lackey's hearing on Wednesday, giving way to a second judge in the proceedings.

Cozart stated in open court that damage was done to the property at 616 North 10th after he and Sebastian County deputies met with Lackey and her boyfriend on January 26 to give her access to items in the building and January 27 when he took back control of the property.

Lackey and Pay it Forward were $3595 in lease agreement arrears and late charges at the time they finally vacated the building.

The remainder of the judgment was for repainting walls that were marked with black streaks, replacing flooring that was painted on and to fix plumbing after coffee grounds and other substances were flushed down the toilet.

Cozart said he changed the locks on the building in early January after the lease ended on December 31, 2021.

He said he started giving Lackey (dba Pay it Forward Fort Smith) notice of the non-renewal of the lease in October after countless attempts to collect past due rent had gone unaddressed. Lackey then complained that a "proper eviction" was not filed when Cozart had the locks changed, so Cozart filed the necessary paperwork with the courts in late January.

In a hearing in late January, Cozart was granted the eviction after Lackey had what she termed was a "panic attack" after an unsuccessful attempt to get the editor and publisher of Today in Fort Smith removed from the court room.

She repeated her baseless claims of being "stalked" in open court and was admonished by the judge about contempt before storming out of the courtroom.

Lackey has filed numerous false police reports with the Fort Smith Police Department against publisher Dennis McCaslin after he left his position as vice-president of PIFFS on December 17, 2020.

Lackey has a history of false allegations and McCaslin claims she committed the state felony of false reporting after "someone" called the DHS hotline and reported him as a "child molester".

She also made those claims to Cozart in a text message and openly on her social media account two days before McCaslin was interviewed and exonerated by the state police.

That same weekend, Lackey posted a enigmatic statement on Facebook on Saturday calling herself "Ms. Last Laugh" before McCaslin and his 8-year-old granddaughter were subjected to the state police interviews the following Monday.

She also went on social media a few days later to claim she wasn't the one who made the false report when McCaslin, his family, law enforcement officials--and the person who made the allegation--were the only parties with any knowledge of the false report.

She also later falsely characterized a discussion she had with DHS officials, according to an email from that agency and the DHS employee she cited.

Lackey has continuously harassed McCaslin by utilizing false social media accounts, text message "services" and by photoshopping documents and creating demeaning "memes" by photoshopping his head onto various photographs.

In the past week, Lackey started a Facebook page entitled "Today in Fort Smith Behind the Keyboard" that attempts to mirror "Today in Fort Smith" and cause confusion while posting more baseless claims and "memes" in an effort to ridicule her "haters".

In the past, she has also contacted several of TIFS advertisters with her outlandish claims in an effort to divert revenue from the news organization.

McCaslin says he is privy to information about several cash donations that were made to the organization for "rent" that was never passed on to Cozart in 2021.

During his entire tenure with the PIFFS board of directors, Lackey cancelled board meetings at the last second, failed to produce financial records at the behest of board members and replaced BOD members that challenged her on financial matters.

Lackey has been evicted from her personal home at least three times in the past 30 months according to court record.

Lackey, who was convicted of various drug felonies and misdemeanors in Kansas in 2003 and served time in the Kansas Department of Corrections for those crimes, was first accused of embezzlement of Pay in Forward funds in 2019 when she used grant money to facilitate a personal move.

She later allegedly replaced money to the bank account in October 2019, investigators did not actually see her bank records according to the police report and a conclusion which deemed the allegations "unfounded" based on the word of one volunteer and without consulting or interviewing any active board members at the time.

Below is a stellar example of Lackey's photoshop skills.

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