Democrat-Gazette follows up on Dennis Milligan's illegal hire; you're welcome | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Democrat-Gazette follows up on Dennis Milligan's illegal hire; you're welcome

Posted By on Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 6:59 AM

SORRY: Treasurer Dennis Milligan has apologized for hiring cousin.
  • SORRY: Treasurer Dennis Milligan has apologized for hiring cousin.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Michael Wickline did a full followup today on Treasurer Dennis Milligan's illegal hiring of his first cousin to a $63,000 job in the treasurer's office, first reported here Thursday.

IF WE DONT BLOW OUR OWN HORN WHO WILL? DEPT: The article didn't mention where the matter first came to light.

Milligan gave the Democrat-Gazette a written statement that reiterated the hiring was a mistake. He apologized.

For my part in that mistake, I want to humbly apologize to my family and especially to the people of Arkansas.

The job offer was made by Chief of Staff Jim Harris. 

You might recall that one of the first acts of the treasurer's office was to get the rules changed from a law passed by the Republican legislature in 2013 after the Martha Shoffner scandal. The law required Harris to have a degree in a business-related field. The rule was changed to allow a simple college degree in any field. Harris is paid $99,000.

Hiring a prohibited relative is a Class A misdemeanor. A separate statute provides a $1,000 civil penalty for such a hiring, but that describes it as a "knowing" act.  Ignorance of a criminal law is no excuse. 

Milligan, after I inquired, sent information to the attorney general's office about the situation. It has yet to issue a response.

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