Lt. Gov. Mark Darr said Tuesday that he will not resign from office and intends to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2015.
"Today I put a stake in the ground. Not for this office. Nor for the title or the job. But I put a stake in the ground for those Arkansans who are sick and tired of these types of political games and the people who play them," Darr said in a written statement released today. "It would be an immediate fix to tuck tail and run but I would regret it for years to come."
In an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Darr declined to discuss the people he says are playing political games.
The Arkansas Ethics Commission fined Darr $11,000 and issued him a public letter of reprimand last week for 11 separate violations of state campaign and ethics rules.
Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has called on Darr to resign and some legislators are calling for Darr to be impeached. All five Republican members of the Arkansas congressional delegation have also urged Darr to quit. In a joint written statement, released on Dec. 31, the GOP lawmakers said: “Based on Lt. Governor Darr’s own admissions, it is clear he has violated that trust, and he should step down immediately for the good of our state.”
Shortly after Darr's statement, House Speaker Davy Carter said his office is looking at how to move forward with impeachment if a majority of House members want to pursue that process. He said the most likely first step would be appointing a bipartisan committee to make recommendations on the procedures for impeachment.
Impeachment would require 51 votes in the 100-member House. For a conviction, 24 votes are needed in the 35-member Senate.
Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.