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Report: Darr cited 'carelessness' on spending

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 30, 2014 at 9:46 a.m. Updated January 30, 2014 at 11:41 a.m.

in-this-photo-taken-jan-7-2014-arkansas-lt-gov-mark-darr-is-interviewed-at-the-state-capitol-in-little-rock-an-investigative-report-released-thursday-jan-30-2014-from-the-arkansas-ethics-commission-says-darr-blamed-carelessness-on-his-part-for-the-campaign-finance-violations-that-led-to-his-planned-resignation

In this photo taken Jan. 7, 2014, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr is interviewed at the state Capitol in Little Rock. An investigative report released Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, from the Arkansas Ethics Commission says Darr blamed carelessness on his part for the campaign finance violations that led to his planned resignation.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr told investigators that "carelessness" on his part led to the ethics and campaign finance violations that ultimately led to his planned resignation, the state Ethics Commission said in a report released Thursday.

The panel released hundreds of pages of documents related to the probe into Darr's campaign and office spending, a month after he agreed to an $11,000 fine for multiple ethics and campaign-finance violations. Darr, a Republican who was elected in 2010, earlier this month announced he would step down Saturday because of the violations.

According to the report, Darr told ethics staff in November that he expected to be fined over the violations, which he insisted were "mistakes of carelessness."

"I never intended to take money that I was not entitled to, but I failed to follow proper accounting procedures," Darr said in a statement he provided to investigators.

Darr agreed in December to the fines imposed by the state Ethics Commission for 11 separate violations, which included using his campaign funds for personal items and improper travel reimbursements from the state. Darr was not available for comment, his office said Thursday.

The report detailed more than $31,000 in campaign funds that Darr used on food, fuel and other personal items since taking office in 2011. Darr had loaned his campaign more than $170,000 in 2010, but the ethics commission said that spending the funds on personal items was not a legal way to retire that debt. The figure also includes more than $5,700 Darr spent after he retired the debt his campaign owed him.

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LevyRat says... January 30, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.

Darr you are a joke ......... careless??? Really???

Do you think we are that stupid??? $31,000 spent on personal items and you didn't notice???

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nrb says... January 30, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

REPUBLICAN THRU AND THRU

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jkc78 says... January 30, 2014 at 1 p.m.

LevyRat please do some research on the issue....he had loaned his campaign around 170K....instead of paying himself back through campagain contributions like he should have he paid for personal expenses through his campaign (money that was owed back to himself anyway).

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JakeTidmore says... January 30, 2014 at 1:17 p.m.

Ignorance is usually a tragedy. Not taking the time to learn the rules is guaranteed to bring on a severe case of ignorance - which is a case of stupidity, clear and simple.
The notion that it's a loan has little to do with how the money is to be paid out. Thousands of Arkansas politicians have run for office and abided by the rules.
When you're the idgit galoot who doesn't and gets caught, then saying "oops" doesn't cut it. Nor does continuing to do another $5700 after debt retirement (definitely not his "loan" money) nor a couple thousand or more after being notified about such problems.

The sooner Republicans can spit Darr out and flush his troubles away, they better they'll feel.

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edo1962 says... January 30, 2014 at 2:21 p.m.

The comments on here are sad. It was an honest mistake that has been explained. If I wanted to stoop to the level of these wonderful democrats on here. I would ask if a democrat would have shown the same moral judgment of being honest enough to admit his mistake up front. Get off his back and be more mature. He could have attempted to just hide the mistake.

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JakeTidmore says... January 30, 2014 at 4:20 p.m.

Edo, you're full of it, so don't act so goody-goody. The man continued to misuse the funds even after being warned about it. After. Being. Warned. And he whined that it was other people's fault for not warning him about this issue beforehand.

"Honest" mistake? There are some sserious doubts about that.

What's the difference between friendly fire and unfriendly fire? The effect is still the same. Saying honest mistake remainds me of that fact.

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JakeTidmore says... January 30, 2014 at 4:35 p.m.

BTW -- does "carelessness" have anything to do with the fact that Darr still hasn't paid back $22,000 that he owes to the state $9836 for charging personal expenses as office expenses (is that honest??); $1137 for personal expenses he charged to a state credit card (is this getting closer to being honest???). And he has to pay back $11,000 to cover the fines charged to him by the Ethics Commission.

"Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it." -- Mark Twain

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Morgancub says... January 30, 2014 at 7:51 p.m.

I'd like to help him out a little if I can !!!
I'll take 2 mediums, 1 sausage, 1 sweep the kitchen, to go & step on it dufus !!!

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Kingpin says... February 1, 2014 at 1:17 p.m.

Can you say CROOK?

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Kingpin says... February 1, 2014 at 1:25 p.m.

I fail to see any "honest" mistake here. He got caught cheating on his campaign statements; he was paid for expenses to which he was not legally entitled. As a state employee who has to file an Ethics Statement, I would have been fired if I had made those type of "mistakes". I have no sympathy for him! And no, I am not a Democrat!

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