Today's Paper Latest Elections Coronavirus 🔵 Covid Classroom Cooking Families Core values Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive
story.lead_photo.caption Hunter Hatcher resignation letter

An outreach coordinator in Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan's office resigned Monday amid backlash from social media posts that Milligan said were "insulting" to women and people in the gay community.

Hunter Hatcher, a member of the Arkansas National Guard who has been on unpaid military leave from the treasurer's office since December, submitted his resignation voluntarily and it was accepted, Milligan spokesman Stacy Peterson said.

"It is my intent to focus on my military service to my country," Hatcher's emailed resignation said. "I would like to offer my sincere apologies to all who were offended by my egregious remarks, as it was not becoming of a Soldier. I am very contrite but will continue to focus on my mission with the Army."

On Friday, a Twitter account that news reports identified as belonging to Hatcher (@HatchbackHunter) referred to President Donald Trump's inauguration and made what Peterson said were "anti-gay remarks."

"Y'all in Trump's America now! Time to flick that chip off ya shoulder and quit being so offended. Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos," the post said, according to a screen shot of the comment published on various websites.

On Saturday, a Facebook account that reports identified as belonging to Hatcher shared a post by Little Rock TV station KARK about the Arkansas Women's March, commenting: "If all these women are at the Capitol, who's making lunch?" according to a screen shot of the post.

"I love Subway cause I can tell a woman to make me a sandwich and she does it with a smile on her face," a Jan. 1 post from the same Facebook account says, according to a screen shot of the post. "I wish all women had that Subway work ethic. ... Don't get equal, get to cooking woman, get equal on your own time."

[EMAIL UPDATES: Get free breaking news alerts, daily newsletters with top headlines delivered to your inbox]

Hatcher could not be reached for comment or to verify he wrote the posts. He did not respond to a request on social media, and efforts to find a cellphone number were unsuccessful.

On Monday, the HatchbackHunter Twitter account, whose bio says "Sniper. Conservative. Cyclist. Drummer. CrossFitter. Adventurer." was listed as private, meaning only people approved by the account's user can see postings. A Facebook page could not be found.

"I think that [Hatcher] has deleted [the accounts] and blocked them now," Peterson said.

Milligan did not directly hire Hatcher, who joined the office in April 2015, Peterson said. A third party referred Hatcher to the treasurer's office, and he was interviewed and "went through the process like anyone else," she said.

As an outreach coordinator, Hatcher's job was to arrange meetings between community groups, such as Rotary clubs, and Milligan, Peterson said. Hatcher did not speak for Milligan in that role, Peterson said.

Hatcher's salary was $35,752.50, Peterson said.

Milligan, a Republican and one of the state's seven constitutional officers, issued statements on Sunday and Monday.

"We are obviously very disappointed in some recent outbursts on social media by one of our employees who is currently on military leave," Milligan wrote Sunday. "Insinuating that women belong only in the home is insulting. These statements, and the others he made, in no way represent the views of the Treasurer, who does not and has never held such audacious viewpoints."

Milligan wrote that the treasurer's office was required by law to hold a position for Hatcher equivalent to the one he was in before being deployed.

"I want to reemphasize my earlier statement: The comments made by a member of my staff were insulting, unprofessional, unbecoming of a state employee and have no place in a public office," Milligan said in a follow-up statement Monday. "Again, he is on unpaid military leave from my office at this time. When he returns we will be discussing this situation and his role within my office."

Peterson said she's not aware of a social media policy in the state treasurer's office.

"Everybody has the right to free speech, but you have to balance that also with what you're saying and who you are as a professional," Peterson said.

State Desk on 01/24/2017

Print Headline: State employee quits after posts criticized; Milligan: Writings insult women, gays


Sponsor Content

Archived Comments

  • Nodmcm
    January 24, 2017 at 6:39 a.m.

    After banning abortion and birth control, the next logical step for conservatives is to somehow restrict women's participation in paid work outside the home. Of course, we all know how conservatives feel about the LGBTQ community. It is refreshing to see Treasurer Milligan address this misogynistic and homophobic outburst, however, the fact that it occurred should remind us all that these sort of attitudes and beliefs are far from gone. How many other men are out there with these beliefs and attitudes? Maybe half the state? Maybe more?

  • Skeptic1
    January 24, 2017 at 8:33 a.m.

    All of his comments are gross but I am uneasy about the climate of Big Brother censorship we are seeing. My dad spent his life in the military and I remember him saying this when we were watching white supremacists on TV, "I hate what they are saying but I will lay down my life to defend their right to say it." While reprehensible, this man did not threaten anyone which is not protected speech. A better solution might have been to counsel this man and ask him to write an apology rather than stripping him of his job.

  • Duhig
    January 24, 2017 at 8:40 a.m.

    I agree w/ Nodmcm and add: What a worthless person in an unnecessary job. If the Rotarty club wants the skate treasurer to speak, they will call.

  • swoglesbycoxnet
    January 24, 2017 at 8:48 a.m.

    I have to agree with "libertas2u", Mr Hatcher seems more guilty of being ignorant (lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated) than anything else. I would also imagine that this "attitude" and personality trait had been exhibited within the workplace prior to the discovery of his social media postings. With that said, it is sad that in today's world....these attitudes still exist and probably always will, unfortunately.

    January 24, 2017 at 9:05 a.m.

    He wasn't stripped of his job.

    He resigned.

  • TimberTopper
    January 24, 2017 at 9:39 a.m.

    libertas2u, he is on active duty. The military has rules against what he has done, so get ready for him to suffer the outcome of his mindless rage. You as a private citizen, can remain as mindless as you wish.

  • MaxCady
    January 24, 2017 at 10:12 a.m.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

  • LR1955
    January 24, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

    Did he do these comments/posts/tweets on his own time with his own equipment & isp? Or while sitting in a state office using government resources. That's where the line is drawn, usually.

  • deb1954
    January 24, 2017 at 2:22 p.m.

    This is the most pathetic bull crap. If you can't take a joke then you need to hide your ignorant head in a hole! I am a woman who is perfectly capable of dishing out jokes. So it looks like if you are a white male you better walk on eggshells or you will lose you job.

    January 24, 2017 at 3:39 p.m.

    deb, it wasn't an isolated incident. His FB page was full of crap like this. Unacceptable for someone in his position, both in the military and in state government. This goes way beyond one ill-advised "joke."

    He did the right long last.