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story.lead_photo.caption Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, left, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge were issued public letters of caution by the Arkansas Ethics Commission on Friday for unlawful contributions made to their re-election campaigns this year.

The letters were made public in records released by the Ethics Commission. The commission determined that both Republicans' violations were unintentional.

Hutchinson, who won a second four-year term in November, accepted campaign contributions from two individuals in excess of the $2,700 allowed under Arkansas law. The campaign, which had retained an accounting firm to handle finances and reporting, issued refunds to both individuals.

"The Ethics Commission acknowledged this as an unintentional error that was corrected as soon as it was brought to the attention of the campaign," said Jon Gilmore, Hutchinson's chief political strategist. "The Ethics Commission has little discretion on these reporting errors, and the commission handled the matter appropriately in accordance with their rules."

Rutledge, who also won a second four-year term last month, received the letter of caution for accepting $2,700 from the Republican Attorneys General Association Arkansas PAC before the group had registered with the Arkansas secretary of state's office.

[2018 ELECTION: Full Democrat-Gazette coverage of Arkansas races]

The group faxed the secretary of state's office a copy of its registration form the same day as the donation to Rutledge, but the submission wasn't accepted because it wasn't made online.

"As the Consent Order notes, the unintentional error occurred when the campaign accepted a contribution from the Republican Attorneys General Association PAC after RAGA PAC faxed their registration to the Secretary of State but before the PAC filed online under the new requirement. The full amount of the contribution was returned before the election," a statement provided by spokesman Amanda Priest said.

Both complaints were made to the commission by Matt Campbell, a left-leaning attorney and blogger. However, the Hutchinson campaign self-reported one of the excessive contributions, according to the commission's letter.

Metro on 12/22/2018

Print Headline: Donations earn Arkansas AG, governor ethics hits; gifts to campaigns deemed unlawful

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Archived Comments

  • condoleezza
    December 22, 2018 at 1:07 p.m.

    "Ethics" is a foreign concept to Rutledge.

  • GeneralMac
    December 22, 2018 at 1:37 p.m.

    (2nd paragraph)........."violations were unintentional "
    (4th paragraph)........."The Ethics Commission acknowledged this as an unintentional error that was corrected as soon as it was brought to the attention of the campaign "

    (7th paragraph)......" the full amount was returned before the election"

    A shame that I have to point out key paragraphs to "usual suspects" who don't bother to read the article before they make a fool out of themselves by shooting their mouth off .

  • condoleezza
    December 22, 2018 at 2:15 p.m.

    GeneralHUSSEINMaKKK. Clearly, you have not paid attention to Rutledge in general. She spends more time working for other states than our own. The usual suspects in your head are swimming.

  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    December 22, 2018 at 3:10 p.m.

    thanks to both campaigns for doing the ethical thing by returning the money and reporting it.
    and Merry Christmas

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    December 22, 2018 at 3:46 p.m.

    whaaat? noooooo waaaayy!
    You think they understand or care?

  • GeneralMac
    December 22, 2018 at 5:52 p.m.

    Leslie Rutlege, like Michele Bachmann, got my vote and will .

    Intelligent, Beautiful, female, Republican.

    That's like hitting the superfecta at Oaklawn.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    December 22, 2018 at 7:05 p.m.

    Going for that sexism vote.
    Doesnt upset the fact that;
    Jan Morgan was the Governor we needed and deserved.

  • ARMNAR
    December 23, 2018 at 2:06 a.m.

    Morgan is an Islamophobic crazy person.

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