Monday, August 19, 2013

Prosecutor Ellington asks for special prosecutor in Paul Bookout case

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

SCOTT ELLINGTON: Says he has conflict on considering ethics probe.
  • SCOTT ELLINGTON: Says he has conflict on considering ethics probe.
More news on the Paul Bookout front:

STATEMENT OF PROSECUTING ATTORNEY SCOTT ELLINGTON

IN RE: ETHICS INVESTIGATION OF STATE SEN. PAUL BOOKOUT

“After spending much of the day in court and also reviewing this matter, I am requesting that Bob McMahan, the Arkansas Prosecutor Coordinator, nominate a special prosecutor to be appointed by the court to further review the Ethics Commission’s findings and determine whether a criminal investigation should be conducted. I suspect the special prosecutor will call for a state police investigation, but will leave that to his or her discretion.

“I specifically believe that it is appropriate for me to call for a special prosecutor to handle this matter because Sen. Bookout and his family attend my church. Further, three of my deputy prosecutors are members of the same law firm as one of Sen. Bookout’s attorneys. Therefore, I believe that my recusal and the subsequent appointment of a special prosecutor is appropriate because of the aforementioned personal and professional conflicts.”

Earlier today, Bookout got his official letter of reprimand from the Ethics Commission and also resigned his job at a Jonesboro hospital.

Tough call here on who should handle the case. This is one of those rare cases where a matter has at least some partisan coloration. Republicans want a big bloody scalp. I don't hear many Democrats defending Bookout, however. This is one where the facts do a lot of the talking. Some straight legal interpretation shouldn't be a partisan matter.

One of the problems in this investigation is jurisdiction. Was it Jonesboro, where Bookout spent much of his money (though not all)? Or was it Little Rock, where his reports were filed? I guess Ellington decided it fell to his office rather than Larry Jegley.

And before anyone jumps too hard on Ellington for partisanship, I just remembered that one of his deputy prosecutors, Thomas Fowler, is thought well enough by Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr that Darr appointed him to the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

Bookout hasn't responded to my e-mail but he said in response to Arkansas News that he has nothing further to say at the moment about whether he'll continue in office. He'd earlier said he intended to serve out his term.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015
  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015
  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The sunny Sunday line

    • Trump is willing to shut down the government if he doesn't get funding for his…

    • on April 23, 2017
  • Re: The sunny Sunday line

    • STEPHEN SMITH THIS DATE IN ARKANSAS HISTORY 23-Apr 1912 Congressman Robert B. Macon of Helena…

    • on April 23, 2017
  • Re: The sunny Sunday line

    • My dear (and I mean that) Norma, do not over-imagine our attention span. There is…

    • on April 23, 2017

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation