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Officials' financial reports submitted

Court justices, legislative leaders file by Frank E. Lockwood | February 3, 2021 at 4:31 a.m.

Statements of Financial Interest for 2020 from members of the state's Supreme Court were due this week at the Arkansas secretary of state's office.

So were statements from state legislative leaders as well as other officials.

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 income falls above the minimum amount or above $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 from outside state government.

Each of the six associate justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court earn a current salary of $184,588 while Chief Justice Dan Kemp earns $199,344. In addition to those salaries, the justices reported the following sources of income:

Kemp earned more than $12,500 from the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System and more than $12,500 through his wife, Susan, from the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. He also reported earning more than $1,000 each last year in rent paid by a radio station and a chiropractic clinic. He or his wife also had more than $12,500 at Centennial Bank in Mountain View. His wife had more than $12,500 in VALIC. The couple also had more than $12,500 in holdings at First Security Bank in Searcy, plus holdings worth more than $1,000 at Star Gap Enterprises, LLC in Mountain View.

He and/or his wife and/or their revocable trusts also listed numerous stock or investment fund holdings. Six of them were valued at more than $12,500. Thirty-three others were more than $1,000 each but less than $12,500. In February, Kemp attended the Global Judicial Integrity Network Conference in Doha, Qatar. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime covered expenses totaling $3,865.

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 justice or her husband received more than $12,500 each in royalties from Southwestern Energy, British Petroleum and Dry Fork Mineral Co. LLC, and more than $10,000 in royalties from Betterment, LLC plus more than $12,500 from the Arkansas Diamond Deferred Compensation Plan.

The Bakers also listed business or holdings of more than $12,500 each with Vanguard Investment Group, American Century Funds and First Arkansas Bank and Trust.

Justice Courtney Hudson reported holdings of more than $1,000 in Wells Fargo Advantage common stock and more than $1,000 in the ING Value Choice Fund.

Justice Rhonda Wood reported receiving more than $12,500 from her husband Michael's work as a physician at the Renaissance Women's Center. Her husband also received more than $12,000 in income from Conway Regional Medical Center. The couple reported earning more than $12,500 in income from the property management company MDJD LLC.

Michael Wood's business or holdings in Renaissance Women's Center was valued at more than $12,500. The couple's business or holdings in MDJD LLC was also valued at above $12,500. They had holdings at Centennial Bank in Conway valued at more than $12,500.

Rhonda Wood had a Fidelity Mutual Funds IRA valued at more than $12,500 as well as a Charles Schwab IRA valued at more than $12,500. Michael Wood had a Charles Schwab IRA valued at more than $12,500. The couple also had Etrade holdings worth more than $12,500, plus Home Banc shares worth more than $1,000 and Amazon shares worth more than $1,000. The Michael and Rhonda Wood Trust also had a Charles Schwab holding worth more than $12,500.

Justice Barbara Webb reported earning more than $12,500 from the state of Arkansas as the chief administrative law judge for workers compensation. Her husband Doyle earned more than $12,500 from the Republican Party of Arkansas, where he served as chairman for most of the year, and more than $12,500 from Arkansans for Transparency. The nature of the services that he provided there were not listed. Doyle Webb also earned more than $12,500 from the Cornett-Webb Revocable Trust related to rental income and investments. The trust was also listed as a holding worth more than $12,500.

The couple had more than $12,500 at Regions Bank. The justice also had holdings of more than $1,000 in Arkansas Diamond.

Justice Robin Wynne reported receiving more than $12,500 from the Social Security Administration and more than $12,500 from the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System. He also earned more than $1,000 working as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law. He also listed one business or holding: W&W Mini Storage in Fordyce.

Justice Shawn Womack's statement of financial interest was not posted on the secretary of state's website at close of business Tuesday.

Arkansas Ethics Commission Director Graham Sloan said it sometimes takes a while for the paperwork to get delivered to the secretary of state's Office.

"As long as it was postmarked [Monday], it would be timely," he said.

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS

Both the speaker of the House and Senate president pro tempore earn annual salaries of $49,185. Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate each earn $43,064, plus per diem expenses. In addition to their legislative salaries, the leaders of each chamber reported the following income in 2020:

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.

He valued his law firm at more than $12,500, and also listed five separate American Funds holdings, each valued at more than $12,500.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, and his wife, Denise had income of more than $12,500 from GBU Operations, Inc.; more than $12,500 from Hicksand, Inc.; and more than $1,000 in dividends from Ameritrade. He also had more than $12,500 in income from Oak Creek Investment Properties, Inc.

His Oak Creek Investment Properties, Inc. holdings were valued at more than $12,500. The couple's other listed holdings included GBU Operations, Inc., more than $12,500; Ford Motor Company, more than $1,000; Hicksand, Inc., more than $12,500; Aflac, more than $1,000; Budweiser, more than $12,500; Exxon, more than $12,500; Murphy Oil, more than $12,500; Pfizer, more than $1,000; AT&T, more than $1,000; Viatris, more than $1,000; Leggett and Platt, more than $1,000; and Bank of Ozark, more than $1,000.

Information for this report was contributed by Michael R. Wickline and John Moritz of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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