Arkansas lieutenant governor says he'll resign over ethics violations
January 11th, 2014
08:41 PM ET
9 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.

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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. don in albuquerque

    @mike-ever hear of Anthony Weiner (sp)? And in your list what has Hillary done to you? Oh yeah, I forgot-Benghazzzzzzzzi!!! Get your facts together and someone might bother to listen.

    January 12, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Jack

    Even though I am throughly disgusted with my party of choice; the republicans, the stupid tea partiers; the Lt. Gov. is right. Politics is toxic now. With the like or Rush Limbaugh both left and right; the environment is: "Is the first lair wins"!

    January 12, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. jinx9to88

    Why resign, your party has a guy that got caught buying cocaine. Ethics is minor compared to trying to buy cocaine.

    January 12, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Thomas

    Rush Limbaugh is looking for a stunt man .

    January 12, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Pete

    Hey if they investigate why not get Issa the republicans pit bull to do it,he's screwed up every other investigated committee he's run so far,just spending tax payer money that's all..And Christie will go down on this bridge deal as well because after they dig this crap up they'll find a lot of past skeletons from his past that'll collapse his house of cards,good riddence fat boy and those sanctumonious republicans alike ...

    January 12, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. LessThanZero

    Liberal fascist? You, sir, are a moron.

    January 12, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Gary

    Same garbage from the right. When it's a Dem. They're bad. Dems are crooks. When it's a Repug. It's " BOTH sides do this, ALL politicianhs do this". This artical is about this Arkansaw crook. I'm sure it's Obama's fault.

    January 12, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Jules

    Gawwwd, Obama is in such trouble – first the lane closures on the busiest bridge in the world and now this!

    January 12, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Speaking of the alcoholic drug user republican representative from Ft Myers, the county sheriff helped point out that this druggie can now make laws, but he cannot drive a bus, or for that matter, be a fireman, a teacher, a deputy, an EMT, a doctor, a nurse, etc.

    January 12, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. andrew

    Another family value cheating politician.

    January 12, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Thanks to the media

    Keep 'em honest!

    January 12, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Fair

    Impossible. He's a Republican that has Jesus in his heart. Christianity automatically means he has morales and couldn't do this.

    January 12, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. RobertM

    Some comments are so poor in content, purpose and reason I can no longer tell whats a troll post and whats just been posted by an idiot.

    January 12, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. rosethornne

    What's with all these Republican lieutenant governors lately?
    They're dropping like flies. Rotten, corrupt flies.

    January 12, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Crushinator

    A class act, the victim of political forces vying for control of Americas 5th poorest and stupidest state..well played sir

    January 12, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Crushinator

    Yes, liberal fascist...and why not? Benito Mussolini said that fascism should be called Corporatism, because it is the perfect merger of state and corporate power... and whether republican or liberal, those in power give the corporations what they want..liberals let the insurance companies write and approve the health care bill, and republicans are no better...

    January 12, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Name

    Man this state is good at producing corrupt poloticians!

    January 12, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Will he serve time with the one from Minnesota who is quitting so that she doesn't have to lie about something else?

    January 12, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. monster Zero

    Only 11, that never stopped a Clinton!

    January 12, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. monster Zero

    God, stop it you're making my sides hurt from laughing. Obama writes a chapter in his book about snorting coke and selling dope and you pull out some Rep that gets busted for coke? How about that old Marion Barry smoking crack with a hooker? You gotta be kidding me, I really like the Weiner man, that was such a joke or how about old Billy Bob getting some 21 year old intern to give him BJ's in the oral office. Stop it you're hypocrisy is killing me~! How about they are all a bunch of corrupt lying scum bags and you and I are footing the bill with our loss of liberty and freedom.

    January 12, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. radsenior

    It must be the entire TEA-Republican-Libertarian consortium that must be removed. It will not be easy, because TEA-types will vote.

    January 12, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. malcore

    I don't understand how people we elect for high positions to help us ALL out continue to lie, steal and cheat and commit treason against our GREAT COUNTRY and walk around free but when we the people even think to try the same thing we are put some where noone can find us. Hypocracy? Not according to them.

    January 12, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Graves

    "Politics can be a toxic business."
    Politics shouldn't be "business". If more elected officials treated it as a public service as it was originally set forth in the Constitution, we would all be better off.

    January 12, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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