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Lt. Gov. Darr resigns amid ethics violations, possible impeachment

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published January 10, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

lt-gov-mark-darr-tells-reporters-tuesday-that-he-has-no-intention-of-resigning-after-ethical-violations-surfaced-last-week

Lt. Gov Mark Darr tells reporters Tuesday that he has no intention of resigning after ethical violations surfaced last week.

DARR'S STATEMENT

It is my great honor to be the Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. This office has allowed me to meet so many wonderful Arkansans over the past few years. My family and I are forever grateful for the support the people of this great state have shown us for the past few years and during this extremely difficult time. We have learned that difficult days demand decisions of faith.

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. I made mistakes, but not one with malicious intent.

Effective February 1, 2014 I will resign as Lieutenant Governor and I submit that resignation to the people of Arkansas, not an elected official. I have spoken with Speaker Carter and Senate Pro-Tempore Lamoureux to notify them of this decision. They agree with me it is in the best interest for me, my family and the state at this point. I respect these two men for their concern: not just for the state but for me and my family.

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.

Mark Darr

Darr feels resigning 'would not be the best course'

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr met with the media Tuesday to discuss his current ongoing situation. Darr was found to have spent over $41,000 in taxpayer and campaign funds for personal use. Several political figures, including Gov. Mike Beebe, have asked for Darr to resign. (By David Harten)
[View Full-Size]

Beebe: 'Nothing's changed' on Darr

Gov. Mike Beebe told media members Wednesday that "nothing's changed" in regards to his stance on Lt...

Three weeks after an ethics panel ruled he misspent thousands in taxpayer funds and violated nearly a dozen state laws, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr has resigned effective Feb. 1.

Darr, who has held the post since January 2011, announced the decision at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a statement from his office.

Several officials, including Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and all five Republican members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation, candidates for statewide office and state legislators have called for the lieutenant governor to resign after Darr acknowledged 11 violations of state ethics laws and regulations. 

In a written statement Tuesday, released before a round of media interviews, Darr called the violations "an oversight" and said he had “put a stake in the ground” by not resigning from the post, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

“Not for this office, not for the title or the job, but I put a stake in the ground for those Arkansans who are sick and tired of these type of political games and the people who play them,” Darr said. “It would be an immediate fix to tuck tail and run, but I would regret it for years to come.”

Following Darr's statement Tuesday, House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, issued a statement that he would consider appointing an adhoc committee to make procedural recommendations to the House Rules Committee if 51 of the House’s members decide to pursue impeachment.

Several Democratic and Republican state legislators have said they would pursue the impeachment process if Darr didn't step down by the Feb. 10 start of the fiscal session.

No one has ever been impeached in Arkansas under the current constitution, written in 1874, Carter said.

Darr on Dec. 30 agreed to pay an $11,000 fine in 30 days, a requirement in the panel's settlement offer, and wrote in a two-page letter that he didn’t believe he ever “intentionally took money that was not owed to” him.

Read Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details. 

Michael Wickline contributed to this story.

Comments on: Lt. Gov. Darr resigns amid ethics violations, possible impeachment

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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 total comments

NOTAGAIN says... January 10, 2014 at 6:46 p.m.

About time. Now ensure all aspects of his $ were used properly. If criminal, prosecute. We must show these jerks, regardless of party, they're not above the law. Until we see these people in jail, serving real time, this will continue and get worse.

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tawcat says... January 10, 2014 at 7:05 p.m.

Effective February 1st? Immediately should be the rule. I'd also have him escorted out of the Capitol building and any personal possessions left behind be mailed to him. This guy stole like $44,000 from the people of Arkansas, he should not be trusted.

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NutButter says... January 10, 2014 at 7:36 p.m.

I am disappointed in Mark Darr and shocked by his arrogance. And then to think he tries to play the victim. He appears to be delusional about reality.

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Oldearkie says... January 10, 2014 at 7:48 p.m.

Open everyone's closet door and see if we have anyone left in office or licensed to practice law or carry a police badge. Let he who is without sin---.

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djigoo says... January 10, 2014 at 8:08 p.m.

What a non-apology.

Good riddance.

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Fdworfe says... January 10, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.

It wasn’t easy, yet under the circumstances, the man bowed out about as gracefully as any fallible human could. Could have been a whole lot worse, even as bad as some other states which have gone or are now going through a real mess of a trauma that makes little or no sense with no gain for anyone. We trust that Mr. Darr and the State of Arkansas will be wiser and stronger for the pain. To paraphrase the poet…miles and miles before we sleep…so let’s move on. Let the man balance the books, make amends, and let's don't keep kicking a man while he's down. It's not an Arkansas thing.

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JakeTidmore says... January 10, 2014 at 9:14 p.m.

Excerpts from: Learning Humility from Life
by Michael McGinnis

"Misfortune humiliates some people, while others learn humility. When trouble happens, you can react either way. You might believe that life has abused you, made you a victim and that you have been humiliated. Or you might understand — from the same experience — that you have learned something. Being prepared to set aside old notions and be taught by life is learning humility. The choice you make depends on your attitude.

We have much to gain by not thinking of ourselves as victims. It is hard for many people to accept that their problems and hardships in life are of their own creation. Adversity is not meant as punishment — it works like a mirror to show us the kind of person we are inside. Those who respond to misfortune by hiring a lawyer to find someone to blame often put themselves in a box. They can trap themselves in an entrenched position of humiliated pride. Then it is harder to learn the lesson that the difficult experience was intended to provide. Humility opens the door to learning from everyone and everything around you, even from misfortune."

And even from misjudgment.

Mr Darr, please bear in mind these words:

"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."

— Ezra Taft Benson

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BpLrAr says... January 11, 2014 at 3:21 p.m.

Well Mr. Darr, better late than never. When you take a new job, you gotta know the rules or look ignorant. As a business man, you should know: the customers are alway right; same thing for elected public servants. You can still provide for your family selling pizzas & insurance.

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