TIFS Investigates: Parent complaint leads to daycare/nightclub connection
By: Dennis McCaslin - Today in Fort Smith
Today in Fort Smith was contacted today by a concerned parent in northwest Arkansas who says they have learned of a connection between the registered agent for a Bentonville daycare center and a nightclub in Eureka Springs that announced today they will start hosting "kid friendly" drag shows in September.
Wanda Maria Eash, the mother of former Bentonville child therapy clinic owner Anthony Christopher, is the "registered agent" with the Arkansas Secretary of State and is listed as the Incorporator/Organizer of Legacy Preparatory School at 2003 SW Regional Airport Blvd Suite 9 in Bentonville.
Eash is also listed as the "registered agent" with the Arkansas Secretary of State and is listed as the Incorporator/Organizer for Eureka Live, a nightclub that hosts drag shows and LGBTQ events at 35 1/2 Main Street in Eureka Springs.
On Tuesday, one of the entertainers for Eureka Live who goes by the stage name of "Ginger Styles" posted the following on his Facebook page:
According to the website for Legacy Preparatory School in Bentonville, the facility features "Individualized Learning and Cultural Appreciation" for students from infants to pre-K.
"I learned of the connection between the registered owner (Eash) and the nightclub when I saw her listed as the owner of the Eureka Springs business in your story," said the parent, who asked to remain anonymous. "We were paying $900 a month in tuition and it was $400 out of pocket before the first day of classes. We had been hearing rumors about the ownership situation before, but this kind of ties up some loose ends."
According to the parent, students at Legacy all underwent ASQ and Brigance assessments and screening, and at least some of those with defined issues were sent to Absolute Pediatric Therapy for treatment.
"We heard that the person that owned Absolute (Anthony Christopher) was the same person that owned Legacy," said the parent. "We wondered if some of the legal issues for Absolute may have been tied to the Legacy situation."
While Christopher is not listed as an owner at Legacy, and he 'sold' Absolute Pediatric Therapy to a former employee prior to his Medicaid arrest earlier in the year, social media posts for Eureka Live have identified Christopher as the current owner of the nightclub.
Christopher also appears in a photo of the Legacy Preparatory School staff that was posted in December of 2019 and labeled as the "Legacy family".
He also is depicted in a photo reportedly taken at Eureka Live that features the troupe of entertainers (including "Ginger Styles") that was tagged on social media as "My Girls!" . That photo has been removed from the Eureka Live Facebook page and website.
"As a parent, I'm not sure I am comfortable with my child attending a school that has associations, however tenuous, with a person under felony investigation and whose owner also has a nightclub advocating children being allowed to attend drag queen shows," said the complaining parent."To each his own, and I understand times have changed. But this whole deal just seems a bit convoluted to me."
"I just think the parents of students at the school have the right to know," said the parent.
Christopher's cases for Medicaid fraud involving almost $40,000 in misappropriated funds while he was the owner of Absolute Pediatric Therapy is due for a "court review" on August 5 in Pulaski County Court.