Here’s an update on a story we’ve been following for some time: State Senator Paul Bookout will appear before the Arkansas Ethics Commission again this Friday over allegations that he filed incorrect campaign disclosure reports and used campaign funds for personal use.
Bob Hester, the citizen complainant, said the earlier hearing was preliminary to determine if there was enough probable cause to move forward with an investigation. The commission did carry out an investigation — even Bookout attorney Robert Thompson admitted at the initial hearing that he agreed there was “reasonable probable cause.” They are expected to present their findings and announce any penalties at the meeting on Friday.
Here is the full text of the letter from the Ethics Commission to Hester:
Re: Case No. 2013-CO-014
Dear Mr. Hester:
In accordance with Section VI(17) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, this letter serves to notify you that the above-referenced case has been scheduled for a final adjudication hearing. That hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on August 16, 2013, and will take place at the Commission’s offices located at 910 West Second Street, Suite 100, in Little Rock Arkansas. You have the right to be present at the final adjudication hearing but may choose not to attend.
When this matter comes before the Commission at its August 16th meeting, it will be called upon to decide whether or not the Respondent violated (i) Ark. Code Ann. 7-6-203(g), (ii) Ark. Code Ann. 7-6-203(i), (iii) Ark. Code Ann. 7-6-206, and/or (iv) Ark. Code Ann. 7-6-207 (b)(1)(A), (E), (F), (G), (H) and/or (I) in his capacity as a candidate for State Senator – District 21 during the 2012 election cycle.
If you should have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Graham F. Sloan, Director
Unfortunately, Friday’s meeting is not open to the public. We will keep you posted with further developments.