U.S. Marshals Museum President and CEO Patrick Weeks has a court date set for Feb. 15. Weeks was arrested Dec. 21 on two felony charges of aggravated assault with a firearm. Weeks is also on administrative leave.
According to a Fort Smith Police Department report, Weeks refused to allow two OG&E workers into his yard to work on street lights. The workers called the police when Weeks followed them with a pistol and pointed the pistol at them. Weeks was arrested without incident following the encounter and was released on a $3,000 bond from the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center on Dec. 21.
Doug Babb, chairman of the board of directors of the U.S. Marshals Museum, said Weeks is on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case. Babb has taken over the day-to-day responsibilities of the museum. Weeks’ attorney of record is Rex Chronister. Neither Chroniseter nor Weeks returned phone messages left Thursday.
Babb said Thursday (Jan. 13) he had just returned from Washington, D.C., where he and Andrew Meyer, chief development officer in charge of fundraising for the museum, met with the Marshals Service, potential donors, U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers.
“I think people understand that regardless of who is running the day-to-day side of things, this project is going forward. We will complete the funding, and we are working on an endowment for the expenses. This will be a reality,” Babb said.
In September, the museum signed a contract with Thinkwell for the construction of the museum experience (exhibits). The museum foundation has raised the $7.8 million needed to complete that construction, Babb said late last year, adding there is a full schedule over 2022 for the building of the museum experience (interactive exhibits). He also said the U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation only had $2.7 million left to raise for the capital campaign.
Museum officials announced in early November that the Fort Smith-based museum had received an influx of contributions following a $5 million matching gift announced over the summer, meaning production of the museum experience could start soon and the museum could open within a year. Construction of the approximately 53,000 square feet U.S. Marshals Museum was completed – except for exhibits – in early 2020. The facility is located on the Arkansas River near downtown Fort Smith.
Babb said the board cannot announce an opening date for the museum until the experiences are fully fabricated. Contracts for the construction of the experiences will be signed in the spring.
“With supply issues internationally and nationally, there is no guarantee that contractors will be able to get all the supplies they need,” Babb said.
In January 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service selected Fort Smith as the site for the national museum. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in September 2015, and museum officials initially hoped to have the facility open by late 2017.
Weeks, hired in June 2014 as museum president and CEO, succeeded Jim Dunn who had served as museum president since 2009. At the time of his hiring, Weeks was the principal of Strategic Experience Solutions in Dublin, Ohio, which focuses on project planning; implementation and oversight; growth and development of operations; annual budgets; and guest experiences. Prior to Strategic Experience Solutions, Weeks served as vice president of Roto, a design and production firm specializing in experiences for museums and entertainment venues. He also served as vice president of operations and guest experiences for the Arizona Science Center.