Lt. Gov. Mark Darr
is just about perfect when it comes to ethical judgment — always wrong.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported today that he’d hired his friend, Paul Dumas, to represent him in a complaint pending before the state Ethics Commission of his misspending campaign money on personal expenses.

Dumas, of Morrilton, is a former chairman of the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The appearance of sending in a recently departed regulator to appear before his former colleagues isn’t confidence-inspiring, particularly when much of the preliminary work is done behind closed doors, out of view of the public..


Dumas caused the Ethics Commission some unwanted attention last year when he was arrested on a domestic battery charge. His absence from meetings at the time prompted a string of reports by KTHV. He was not prosecuted on the citation at the request of his wife.

Dumas served on the Commission by appointment of Senate President Pro Tem Bob Johnson. His term ended this year and he was succeeded by former Sen. Sharon Trusty. Presumably Darr’s own appointee to the Commission, Little Rock lawyer William Bird, will not participate in consideration of the Darr case. Bird, Darr and Dumas are all OBU grads.

The resignation Tuesday of Impact Management from handling the now-dead Darr congressional campaign was not exactly a vote of confidence in Darr. Chase Dugger said the group decided it couldn’t go forward representing Darr after looking over his campaign finance reports.