New Police Policy Bans Gifts After Petrino Scandal

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

An Arkansas State Police policy effective Friday stipulates troopers cannot accept compensation other than regular pay for providing security at university sporting events.

The new two-page policy also stipulates troopers cannot accept gratuities from “guest athletic teams” and requires the college or university requesting security to pay for travel, meals and lodging.

The policy was distributed to troopers about a month after state police Capt. Lance King was found by the state Ethics Commission to have violated law in accepting gifts valued at more than $100 during the years he provided security at University of Arkansas football games for then-coach Bobby Petrino.

Petrino went on to leave UA in disgrace after crashing a motorcycle while in the company of a co-ed with whom he was having an affair.

In a public letter of caution from the commission to King on July 2, the captain was given “clear notice that your actions violated the law.” The letter is signed by Paul F. Dumas, commission chairman.

King received no disciplinary action, but instead was advised in the letter “not to engage in the same activity again.”

In a June 15 settlement letter from Ethics Commission Director Graham Sloan, King was told he would be issued the public letter of caution. King signed the settlement letter agreeing to the public letter of caution.

King, who heads Troop L in Springdale, self-reported in April that he received numerous football tickets and a $225 Sugar Bowl ring while providing security for Petrino during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

State employees and officials are prohibited by law from accepting gifts valued at more than $100.

On May 1 the commission launched an investigation into the receipt of the gifts and later voted 4-0, with chairman Paul Dumas absent, that probable cause exists to show King violated Arkansas Code 21-8-801 (a)(1).

In April, the Arkansas State Police released a review on King’s involvement in the chain of events following an April 1 motorcycle accident involving Petrino and passenger Jessica Dorrell, a member of the football staff hired at Petrino’s recommendation.

After first telling 5NEWS he had been alone during the crash, Petrino later publicly conceded that Dorrell had been on the motorcycle at the time of the accident and that he had been involved with her in an improper relationship.

King  took Petrino to Physicians’ Specialty Hospital in Fayetteville after the crash on Highway 16 near the the Crosses community in Madison County. Petrino was injured, but Dorrell was not.

Athletic Director Jeff Long later fired Petrino for being untruthful about his relationship with Dorrell, who subsequently left her job at the university after reaching a financial settlement with the athletic department.

The state police report says King did not violate any policy or laws in his handling of Petrino motorcycle accident.