Arkansas lieutenant governor says he'll resign over ethics violations
January 11th, 2014
08:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Arkansas lieutenant governor says he'll resign over ethics violations

(CNN) - Arkansas Lt. Governor Mark Darr has announced he'll resign following an ethics scandal that has shaken the state capital of Little Rock.

His decision comes on the heels of a state ethics commission finding that the Republican had broken 11 campaign finance rules since 2010.

In the wake of this ruling, Darr admitted he erred on campaign finance filings, signed a letter from the ethics commission that admitted guilt, and agreed to pay $11,000 in fines. But he refused to step down - until now.

That happened in a statement dated Friday, in which Darr said he'd resign effective February 1.

His decision to leave office, he explained, was to protect his family - admitting that he "made mistakes, but not one with malicious intent."

"Throughout this process, it has been my desire to share the facts, and I feel this has been accomplished. I have been honest, forthright and acted with integrity," Darr said.

The politician added: "Politics can be a toxic business. I will no longer subject my family to its hard lessons. All my forgiveness to those who play the games and all my respect and appreciation to those who serve with class and humility."

Gov. Mike Beebe, D-Arkansas, and others called for Darr's resignation in late December, but the symbolic gestures did not move him immediately. In Arkansas, only the state legislature has the power to remove a lieutenant governor from office.

Despite the admitted impropriety, some local politicians like State Rep. David Meeks took to social media to express their support.

"Thank you Lt Gov @MarkDarr for your service to the State of Arkansas. Praying for you and your family," tweeted Meeks.

At one time a prolific user of Twitter himself, Darr's account is now private.

Darr was elected lieutenant governor in 2010, defeating Democrat state Senator Shane Broadway.

In August, he declared his intention to run for the open U.S. House seat in Arkansas's 4th Congressional District that's currently held by Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who's decided to challenge Democrat Mark Pryor for his U.S. Senate seat.

Shortly after his announcement, however, local media began to report improper spending by Darr's 2010 campaign. Because of these questions over campaign finances, Darr called off his congressional campaign less than a month after declaring.

–CNN's Conor Finnegan, Dave Stewart and Dan Merica contributed to this report.

Filed under: Arkansas
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. nuclear mike

    ALL political power is being abused as BOT Democrats & Republicans are stealing from the taxpayers and violating any law or regulation they choose to favor themselves over those they were elected to serve!!!

    January 11, 2014 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  2. jason

    A Republican is innocent even if proven guilty

    January 11, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. Rusty Krus

    His decision comes on the heels of a state ethics commission finding that the Republican had broken 11 campaign finance rules since 2010.

    Stupid Rednecks keep voting this trash into office!

    January 11, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. jonp

    I wish I could 'resign' from my job.

    January 11, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. muffintop

    Yes, its always nice to be " honest, forthright and act with integrity," after you've been caught red handed and there's nowhere else to go. Gotcha!

    January 11, 2014 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. Christopher Riess

    Typical republican filth.

    January 11, 2014 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. PJ Parker

    Rick Scott's Florida Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Carol resigned last year, instead of facing criminal charges.
    Chris Christie might be impeached.
    Arkansas Lieutenant Governor is resigning in light of allegations.

    Republicans are criminals.

    January 11, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  8. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Another family values hypocrite bites the big one. They just keep falling, like leaves from a sick dying tree.

    January 11, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Smitty

    Shocking another Politico crooked creep. You cant make this stuff up.

    January 11, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. Gt

    No surprise here Arkansas is corrupt as louisiana..several has been ran ut of office

    January 11, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  11. S. B. Stein

    Is he still running for the House seat? If he is, then how does he justify that when he resigned over ethics questions?

    January 11, 2014 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. I'm Outside

    Better late than never. The last thing Arkansas needs is politicians like him.

    January 11, 2014 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. Paul

    Sad! He got caught...they all have done things wrong with campaign finances at some time or another.

    January 11, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. Richie

    Have the Koch Bros picked his replacement yet?

    January 11, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Vence

    Another Republican in disgrace!

    January 11, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  16. wotudezerv

    bye bye. don't handle your own check book. it might make your family suffer and we couldn't have that. you'd have to blame other people.

    January 11, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. belinda

    Everything, he has ever done, while in office, should be investigated. Americans, want to know, where all of our taxes are going. Public resources are limited, yet, they're using them for political payback, at our expense. So much for them really, actually, being concerned about the budget. The GOP thinks it's their money, to use however they want. The GOP has spent Billions, of our taxes, on political theatrics, designed to create an atmosphere of hostility. Smoke and mirrors, to keep us, from finding out what's really going on.

    January 11, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. say what?

    oh, he's a Republican? go figure

    January 11, 2014 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. Adam

    I hope that Arkansas becomes a blue state because of this.

    January 11, 2014 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. sgt hulka

    another crook bites the dust

    January 11, 2014 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. Juergen

    "On August 12, 2013, Darr announced his candidacy for Arkansas's 4th congressional district.[3] He ended his candidacy after questions were raised about campaign expenditures during his 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor.[4] On August 29, 2013, Darr ended his campaign for Congress.[5]" Wikipedia.

    How many of our Congressmen and women haven't been exposed? For example, how about Fincher from Tennessee who sucks down millions from the farm bill?

    January 11, 2014 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  22. Timothy

    Welcome to the 2016 presidential race, your final candidates are Mark Darr. Rod Blagojevich. Chris Christie and Jesse Jackson Jr.

    January 11, 2014 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  23. historyspeaks10

    shocking, a politician misusing campaign funds. how can you tell a politician is lying? their lips are moving.

    January 11, 2014 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  24. Sanders Kaufman

    This goes to the core of the problem with Republicans – they don't really see their crimes as wrong-doing.
    They think that when they gun down doctors in church or slaughter muslim shopkeepers, or corrupt the government – that it's not really a crime because, by their values, it's not malicious.

    January 11, 2014 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. Thomas

    I'm sure he will feel a whole lot better about himself managing a burger king .

    January 12, 2014 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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