The Bookout campaign plunder open line; his investigation continues | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Bookout campaign plunder open line; his investigation continues

Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The Friday night line is open. Closing out:

click to enlarge bookout.png
* BOOKOUT'S PLUNDERING: Files of the state Ethics Commission investigation into former Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout's misuse of campaign money on personal expenses are now open to the public. KAIT in Jonesboro recites here some of the spending. It had been summarized by the Ethics Commission in its finding of multiple law violations by Bookout, but the specifics remain stunning — deposits of campaign money into an account from which checks were drawn for clothing, furniture, cash for Bookout and his wife and even at least one payment to the IRS. He also gave $2,500 to the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro.

A special prosecutor was appointed to review the case for potential criminal prosecution. The ethics violations, though multiple, are only misdemeanors under state law. But multiple sources indicate federal authorities are reviewing the case, too. Wire fraud statutes can be used whenever credit cards, checks and faxes are used in transmitting money and information used in furtherance of obtaining money illegally.

There has been a notable silence from state legislators about lack of action on the case. This perhaps is because 1) legislators write the laws that make campaign violations only misdemeanors and 2) Bookout is, without doubt, not the only elected official who's ever drawn money from a campaign account for personal expenses. Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr resigned after a similar finding of misuse of his campaign account. Former Treasurer Martha Shoffner, a Democrat, faces a federal indictment over personal use of her campaign money.

The sums spent by Bookout are in a different league. The Ethics Commission questioned $49,000 in spending in in his 2010 race. But he raised and spent hundreds of thousands in multiple unopposed races for office with little by way of itemized expenditures and evidence is that a great part of it went for his personal use. Personal use of campaign money that isn't reported as income also can have tax law consequences.

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation