Audit committee gets accounting on referrals to prosecutors; includes decision not to charge Mark Darr | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 9, 2015

Audit committee gets accounting on referrals to prosecutors; includes decision not to charge Mark Darr

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 9:50 AM

NO CHARGES: Mark Darr's misspending of public money was handled by an ethics investigation that produced a fine and his resignation from office.
  • NO CHARGES: Mark Darr's misspending of public money was handled by an ethics investigation that produced a fine and his resignation from office.
The legislature's Joint Auditing Committee got a report today on the outcome of matters referred to prosecuting attorneys for potential prosecution in 2014.

The referrals produced criminal charges 29 times, but in more than 100 cases, prosecutors found insufficient evidence to prosecute, declined to prosecute or otherwise made other decisions. Some remain under review.

There's some interesting reading, ranging from misspending of school activity funds to a finding that hundreds of thousands of dollars in radiology fees that should have gone first to UAMS went to a private medical group (a case still under review).

The report confirms the already evident decision by Pulaski Prosecutor Larry Jegley not to file a criminal charge against former Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr for his use of state money for personal expenses. The prosecutor left action in the case to the state Ethics Commission, which found violations on Darr's part and fined him. He also resigned from office.

The audit report noted that he charged $2,648 in personal expenses on a state credit card (reimbursed after it was discovered); claimed $2,755 in expenses without documentation; was reimbursed $10,302 for improper travel expenses, mostly mileage for driving his vehicle back and forth to Northwest Arkansas. He didn't report most of that money as income. He eventually reimbursed the state.

The Ethics Commission also found Darr had improperly spent campaign money. It fined him $11,000, which he paid in installments. He resigned Feb. 1, 2014.He's now a car salesman.The ethics investigation forced him out of a planned race for Congress.



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