Governor Asks Lt. Gov. Darr to Resign

Posted on: 11:20 am, December 31, 2013, by , updated on: 01:36pm, December 31, 2013

Darr

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has asked Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign his post over a recent ethics case.

Beebe called Darr on Tuesday (Dec. 31) and asked him to quit, but Darr declined the request, stating he would stay in office, according to Beebe’s spokesman Matt DeCample.

An announcement about Darr’s misspent campaign funds and failure to keep records was also brought up during a news conference Tuesday.

The Democratic governor’s request for the Republican second-in-command to step down comes one day after Darr agreed to pay $11,000 in fines. The state Ethics Commission found probable cause Darr had violated 11 state campaign and ethics laws dating back to 2010.

In the wake of the ethics ruling, Darr admitted he erred on campaign finance filings, signed a letter from the Ethics Commission that admitted guilt, and agreed to pay the fines.

After the call from the governor, though, Amber Pool, a spokeswoman for Darr, said the lieutenant governor had no intention of stepping down.

Beebe’s resignation call only holds symbolic weight. The popular governor has no authority to force Darr out because both are independent constitutional officers for the state of Arkansas. According to the governor’s spokesman, Matt DeCample, only the state Legislature can force Darr to resign.

After the call with Beebe, Darr attempted to move past the call for his resignation in a prepared statement.

“The mistakes I made have been well documented,” he said. “My focus now is on making things right with the people of Arkansas.”

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

In August, Darr 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, left-leaning Arkansas blogger Matt Campbell 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.

Term-limited, Beebe cannot run for another term in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Two Republican state House members, Charlie Collins and Andy Mayberry, and Democrat John Burkhalter are running for lieutenant governor in the 2014 election.

CNN contributed to this story.

6 comments

  • Sarah says:

    Anytime an elected official is found guilty of ethics violations, he or she should resign. If they refuse, they should be fired.
    Officials like this make Arkansas a laughingstock in our nationwide media. Twitter is having a field day. Sad.
    Our government is FOR the people, not to line their own pockets.

  • Maddog says:

    This is a first our government is stealing money.

  • melissa says:

    I’m sorry i don’t agree with these comments he made mistakes noone is perfect ,And he is trying to make it right.If you ever met the man you would see for yourself . Stay in there Mark and hold your ground let them know you are for the people.

  • Sarah 1 says:

    @Melissa: The Lt. governor position needs to be abolished. In February 2013, while Governor Beebe was at the Governor’s council in DC, Mr . Darr made a governmental error.
    ‘Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday criticized Lt. Gov. Mark Darr for making secret the list of Arkansas residents allowed to carry concealed weapons, saying the Republican “embarrassed himself” by signing the legislation while the governor was out of state’.
    I am sure he is a very nice person, but

  • Rich says:

    @Sarah I personally don’t agree with the Lt Gov on a lot of things and I agree he should resign. BUT making the Concealed Carry list private was something that needed to be done that our awesome (sarcastic) governor should have done to begin with.

  • danny says:

    I’ll bet if Darr were a Dem the wonderful Gubner would not have asked him to resign. Gubner would have blamed someone other than his fellow Dem for the misstep and said the Elephants were making a big deal out of nothing.

    Yeah, Darr is a crook, but so is Beebe. This right v. left; red v. blue; and Dem v. Repub. thing is tearing Capt. America apart, now she is just a court jester with a broken heart.

    Since many “Americans” can’t reconcile their differences, it is time to separate before this political thing becames a disaster.

    “I dont care whose wrong or right, I don’t really want to fight no more, time for letting go”.

    Good day.

Comments are closed.