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North Little Rock School Board member Tracy Steele and unsuccessful Alma mayoral candidate Edward Thicksten have been sanctioned by the Arkansas Ethics Commission in settlements of complaints, according to records released Friday.

Steele was fined $50 and issued a public letter of caution by the commission in a settlement in which he agreed with the commission finding that he violated state law by failing to file his annual Statement of Financial Interest reports from 2014-17, commission Director Graham Sloan said in a letter to Steele.

Sloan noted that Steele has now filed the reports for those years as a school board member. He filed them with the Pulaski County clerk's office; they already were on file with the secretary of state's office. Steele is director of the state Health Services Permit Agency. He also is a former Democratic state senator, state representative and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.

In another settlement, Steele was also fined $50 and issued a public letter of caution by the commission, Sloan said in a letter to Steele. In this case, Steele agreed with the commission finding that he violated state law by failing to timely file with the Pulaski County clerk's office a final campaign finance report as a school board candidate in 2018, Sloan said. Steele has since filed that report.

Jimmie Cavin filed both ethics complaints against Steele, Sloan's letter said. Last November, Steele won re-election to the school board. He was uncontested.

The commission issued a public letter of caution to Thicksten, a former Democratic state lawmaker, in a settlement of a complaint filed by Keith Greene, Sloan said in a letter to Thicksten.

In the settlement, Thicksten agreed with the commission finding that he unintentionally violated state law in the 2018 election cycle by failing to include the necessary "paid for by" language on campaign signs, Sloan said.

In December, Thicksten lost to Jerry Martin in a runoff election for mayor.

A Section on 03/16/2019

Print Headline: Arkansas ethics panel sanctions 2 politicians over filings, signs

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