Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
It shall be unlawful for any public servant, as defined in § 21-8-402, to devote any time or labor during usual office hours toward the campaign of any other candidate for office or for the nomination to any office.Violation of the law can bring a fine from the Ethics Commission. It also may be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
On its face, Ark. Code Ann. § 7-1-103(a)(2)(A) prohibits a public servant from devoting time or labor to someone else’s campaign during usual office hours. It is the Commission’s opinion that this statutory provision serves to prohibit a public servant from diverting his or her energy from governmental business to campaigning during his or her normal working hours. The Commission concludes, however, that the prohibition does not apply to situations in which a public servant has taken vacation or other personal leave to devote time or labor to campaign activities.In its letter today, the commission tells the governor:
Evidence gathered during the course of the investigation reflected that elected officials are not required to keep records of the time they work and that they do not actually accrue leave time. However, the evidence reflected that you notified your staff in advance that you would be out of the office on the day that you attended the campaign events for the reelection of State Senator Eddie Joe Williams. In addition, those events were placed on your office calendar as personal meetings.The vote was 3-0, with one commissioner abstaining and one not present.
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