Treasurer Milligan hired first cousin for staff, learned later it was illegal | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Treasurer Milligan hired first cousin for staff, learned later it was illegal

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 1:33 PM

click to enlarge UNKNOWING: Treasurer Dennis Milligan hired a first cousin for his staff, not knowing the law prevented state officials from hiring such close relatives.
  • UNKNOWING: Treasurer Dennis Milligan hired a first cousin for his staff, not knowing the law prevented state officials from hiring such close relatives.
New Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan ran afoul of a state anti-nepotism law in his initial round of hiring, his office confirmed to me today. 

Spokesman Grant Wallace provides the details:

Yes, the first cousin of the treasurer, Sam Swayze, was hired to work in the office. He was the former Investment manager assistant and worked in the investment section under Ed Garner who reports to Autumn Sanson. He was paid $63,000/annually. He has been relieved of his duties and was allowed to resign in order to not inhibit his ability to gain future employment with the state if he so desired. His last day was last Friday, February 13.

During our due diligence review of new employee paperwork and SFIs [statements of financial interest], we discovered the relationship and that first cousin was a named relationship in the state nepotism policy. The nepotism policy was extended to Constitutional officers in 2010 via §25-16-1001.

Swayze went to work Jan. 14, so he was paid for about a month of work. Wallace said he didn't know if the discovery about his ineligibility would trigger any requirement for repayment. He said he would check.

Also, there is a penalty provision in the statute.

If anyone approves a position and authorizes compensation to an employee in violation of this law, the person will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A public official who knowingly violates this law shall be subject to a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000). 

Wallace said the office absolutely had made an honest mistake and had not knowingly violated the statute. I've asked if the office believes the "knowing" defense applies not only to the public official, but to the misdemeanor required for anyone who approves a position and authorizes compensation in violation of the law. He promised to seek a response.

UPDATE: The treasurer's office has referred my further questions to the attorney general's office. I've asked that office additionally whether there should be a referral to a prosecutor of a review of the misdemeanor provision.

"We're reviewing it," spokesman Judd Deere said.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



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