Mark Darr's state debt referred to the attorney general | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mark Darr's state debt referred to the attorney general

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

click to enlarge PURSUING DARR: Mark Darr, shown here fleeing reporters after an Ethics Commission hearing last year, still owes the state for improper expense reimbursements.
  • PURSUING DARR: Mark Darr, shown here fleeing reporters after an Ethics Commission hearing last year, still owes the state for improper expense reimbursements.
Mark Darr, who resigned as lieutenant governor Feb. 1 amid controversy over his abuse of state and campaign expenses accounts, still hasn't repaid more than $10,000 in improper expenses he charged to the state.

Legislative Audit referred the issue last month to the attorney general's office. I've sought a response for its plans, if any.

The state auditor's office confirmed for me today that Darr has made no payments on the $9,836 Legislative Audit found Darr owed for improperly charging the state, primarily for commutes to his home in Springdale. Darr previously had been found guilty of state ethics violations for using his campaign money for personal expenses. He's been paying $11,000 in fines in installments of $1,000 a month. He's on schedule, having made seven of 11 payments, a spokesman for the commission said.

Darr is listed on the sales staff at Crain Hyundai in Springdale. I've sent him a message there seeking comment.

Rep. Kim Hammer, co-chair of the legislature's Joint Audit Committee, wrote Attorney General Dustin McDaniel in July, and asked for a response by Aug. 1, on whether he planned any action to recover money Darr owed the state ($10,973 in this letter, an amount reflecting some $1,100 in improper expenses that Darr had reimbursed by a check that was lost but was never replaced).

Roger Norman, director of Legislative Audit, also included letters sent to Darr by the state auditor seeking payment and a copy of a letter sent by the state Insurance Department to Pulaski Prosecutor Larry Jegley. It said when it received word whether any criminal prosecution was planned, it could proceed with a claim with the Arkansas Governmental Bonding Board for coverage of the loss. If there were to be a prosecution, the letter requested that the prosecutor attempt to make restitution a part of any sentence.

For good measure, Norman included, at Hammer's request, a letter he sent to the attorney general in May asking whether any potential for recovery exists for Martha Shoffner's handling of treasurer's duties. She resigned after being indicted for taking payments from a bond dealer who received a disproportionate share of state business. She's since been convicted and awaits trial on charges related to her use of campaign money. While auditors were critical of Shoffner's trading practices, the audits didn't turn up evidence of illegal activity. Her criminal charges arose from the bond dealer's cooperation with the FBI. He wore a wire when he delivered a last cash payment to Shoffner of $6,000, in a box with an apple pie.






I'm awaiting responses from Jegley and the attorney general's office. Legislative Audit said it had received no responses from McDaniel to Hammer's letters.

UPDATE: Jegley says his office still has the matter under review.

McDaniel's office released a letter dated Aug. 1 to Hammer that said his office was prepared to file a lawsuit to recover the money Darr owes, as the law allows.  But McDaniel's spokesman, Aaron Sadler, added: "Please note that we have talked to Mr. Darr and we anticipate that this debt will be resolved very soon, without any need for litigation."

As to Shoffner, McDaniel's letter mentioned a discussion with Hammer and an agreement that any state legal action should await completion of her criminal trial, now scheduled in late December.


Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Circuit court charge filed against Ten Commandments monument destroyer

    The Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office filed a direct charge in circuit court today against Michael Tate Reed, who's been held in the county jail since he was arrested June 28 after driving over and demolishing the day-old Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Whatever secret bill Senate considers, winners and losers are the same

    The U.S. Senate seems likely to vote Tuesday on a secret health bill. Whatever version is rolled out — and if Sen. John McCain's doctor approves a fly-in so he may vote — the outcome is the same. Bad for working poor and previously sick; good for rich people.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Two shot in home on W. 19th

    KARK reports that a 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were found with gunshot wounds when police responded to a house in the 4200 block of W. 19th.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.

Most Viewed

  • Trump's ratings slide everywhere, but Arkansas remains in favorable territory

    Donald Trump's rating is in negative territory in two-thirds of the U.S., but not Arkansas, though his numbers are well below the vote he received in 2016.
  • A night out: Beer and bullets

    A late night shooting in the Fayetteville entertainment district brings a reminder of the legislature's recent expansion of gun law.
  • Magic Springs coaster stops

    The X Coaster at the Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs stopped running this afternoon, KARK reports, and the station quotes the park operator ass saying guests are now "enjoying the park."
  • Judge clears effort to gather vote information

    A federal judge has said the Trump commission aimed at providing evidence he really didn't lose the popular vote may proceed with asking states to supply vast amounts of information on voters because it is not technically a federal agency subject to privacy laws.
  • Whatever secret bill Senate considers, winners and losers are the same

    The U.S. Senate seems likely to vote Tuesday on a secret health bill. Whatever version is rolled out — and if Sen. John McCain's doctor approves a fly-in so he may vote — the outcome is the same. Bad for working poor and previously sick; good for rich people.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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