Officials throughout state government were required to submit financial disclosures with the secretary of state's office by the close of business Friday.
Officials are required to report any sources of income worth more than $1,000. However, officials do not have to disclose exactly how much they earn outside state government, only whether such incomes fall above the minimum amount or more than $12,500. Officials also are required to report business holdings, stocks and other investments, as well as gifts and travel expenses that are paid for outside state government.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reviewed the reports filed by the seven constitutional officers, as well as legislative leaders and members of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Their earnings outside state government are summarized below.
Arkansas has seven constitutional officers whose state salaries range from $148,134 for the governor to $43,584 for the lieutenant governor. In addition to their state salaries, these officers reported the following earnings:
• Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a former U.S. attorney and federal official, reported receiving more than $12,500 from the Federal Employees Retirement System and more than $12,500 in investment returns from B2G Global Strategies Inc.
The governor also reported earning more than $12,500 in income from rental properties and more than $13,500 from the sales of stocks in two companies, Total Site Solutions Inc. and Tyson Foods.
The governor also reported having travel expenses covered for a dozen trips around the country and abroad. The Republican Governors Association paid $10,093 for the governor and first lady Susan Hutchinson to attend four events last year. The Arkansas Economic Development Foundation paid $22,623 for the governor to travel on trade missions to Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as well as for smaller trips to New York, Nevada and Washington, D.C., and a number of business dinners in Arkansas. The National Governors Association paid $560 for the governor and first lady to attend meetings in Washington, D.C., and Utah. The Republican Party of Arkansas paid for $3,961 of the governor's travel expenses, and paid an additional $17,226 to the state to reimburse the governor's travel costs. The governor also reported a number of gifts, including a $2,771 membership at Pinnacle Country Club, a $300 flight for Susan Hutchinson to attend a child-safety conference in Mississippi, and two gifts of clothing and a handbag to the first lady worth a total $500.
• Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin reported earnings of more than $12,500 each from his business consulting firm, Black Hawk Strategies, and from his position as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. Griffin, a Republican from Little Rock, also reported being given a $1,500 stay-at-home vacation and a $750 duck hunt from friends. The lieutenant governor also reported reimbursements for a number of travel expenses, including $1,000 from the Harvard Institute of Politics and $9,300 from the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association to attend six events hosted by the group. Griffin also reported having $1,250 in in-state travel costs being covered by two groups.
• Attorney General Leslie Rutledge reported more than $12,500 in farm income from her husband, Boyce Johnson. Rutledge, a Republican from Maumelle, reported having $24,970 in travel expenses covered by the Republican Attorneys General Association; $12,373 covered by the Rule of Law Defense Fund; $1,033 by the Conference of Western Attorneys General; $1,823 by the Alliance Defending Freedom; and $1,358 by the National Association of Attorneys General. The attorney general receives a salary of $136,578.
• State Auditor Andrea Lea reported that her husband, Phillip, received more than $12,500 in income each from the Entergy Inc. Retirement Fund in New Orleans for retirement and Absolute Consulting of Navarre, Fla. Phillip Lea was a contract procedure writer for Absolute Consulting who did work at Arkansas Nuclear One, said Skot Covert, Lea's chief of staff. Lea, a Republican from Russellville, reported the State Financial Officers Foundation paid $842 of her expenses for two conferences last year, one in Kentucky and another in Washington, D.C. The auditor earns a salary of $89,301.
• Secretary of State John Thurston reported that his wife, Joanna, received more than $12,500 in income last year from Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a nurse. Thurston is a Republican from East End who earns $94,554 as secretary of state.
• State Treasurer Dennis Milligan reported that he received more than $12,500 in income last year from The Maples LLC of Alexander as a home developer in construction; Milligan Racing & Breeding of Alexander for thoroughbred racing and breeding; Water Treatment Services of Alexander as its president; and Triple Crown Investments of Alexander for land development, building leases and rentals. Milligan, a Benton Republican, earns a salary of $89,301 as treasurer.
• Commissioner of State Lands Tommy Land reported that his wife, Judy, earned more than $12,500 in salary as the assessor of Cleburne County. Land, a Republican from Heber Springs, also reported more than $1,000 in earnings in royalties from Flywheel Energy Production and in disbursements from a savings account. The lands commissioner receives a salary of $89,301.
Both the speaker of the House and Senate president pro tempore earn annual salaries of $47,227. Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate each earn $41,393, plus per diem expenses. In addition to their legislative salaries, the leaders of each chamber reported the following income in 2019:
• House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, reported earning more than $12,500 in income from a law firm he runs with his brother, Shepherd and Shepherd, and from Shepherd Investments LLC of El Dorado for rental income. He reported that his wife, Alison, earned more than $12,500 last year as a teacher at the El Dorado School District and more than $1,000 from teaching at First Baptist Church of El Dorado. The speaker reported that nonprofit groups paid for more than $11,000 in expenses last year to attend four conferences. The Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership in Washington, D.C., covered the costs of two trips for the speaker totaling $7,762. The State Legislative Leaders Foundation of Centerville, Mass., paid $3,648 for Shepherd to attend two of its conferences last year.
• Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, reported income of more than $12,500 last year from his business, Hendren Plastics Inc., as well as from the U.S. Air Force/Arkansas Air National Guard as chief combat operations and commander of the 157th Combat Operations Squadron.
Arkansas Supreme Court
Each of the six justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court earn a current salary of $174,924 while Chief Justice Dan Kemp earns $189,108. In addition to those salaries, the justices reported the following sources of income:
• Kemp earned more than $12,500 through his wife, Susan, from the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. He also reported earning more than $1,000 last year in rent paid by a radio station and a chiropractic clinic. In November, Kemp reported having $1,896 in travel costs paid for by the National Center for State Courts to attend a directors meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices in Washington, D.C.
• Justice Karen Baker reported receiving more than $12,500 through her husband, David Hogue, from the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, as well as more than $1,000 in farm income. The couple reported earning more than $60,o00 in royalties from Southwestern Energy, British Petroleum, Dry Fork Mineral Co., Arkansas Diamond Deferred Compensation Plan and Betterment LLC.
• Justice Courtney Hudson reported receiving income from her ex-husband, John Goodson, until the couple's divorce was finalized on Aug. 29. Based on John Goodson's financial statements from 2018, Hudson reported that she earned more than $12,500 in 2019 through his income at the Keil and Goodson law firm, as well as from Walnut Street Investments, Edward Jones, Charles Schwab, Omaha Land & Cattle, G&S Farms, the Washington Advocacy Group and Capitol Square Strategy Inc.
• Justice Rhonda Wood reported receiving more than $13,500 from her husband Michael's work as a physician at the Renaissance Women's Center and Conway Regional Medical Center. The couple reported earning more than $12,500 in income from the property management company MDJD LLC. Wood reported having $1,844 in travel expenses paid for by the Federalist Society to attend a conference in Washington, D.C., in August.
• Justice Josephine "Jo" Hart did not report earning any additional income beyond her Supreme Court salary.
• Justice Robin Wynne reported receiving more than $12,500 from the Social Security Administration and more than $1,000 working as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law. Wynne also reported earning more than $12,500 from the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.
• Justice Shawn Womack's statement of financial interest was not available from the secretary of state's office Friday.
Metro on 02/01/2020