House Speaker Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) has told state Rep. Mickey Gates (R-Hot Springs), who pleaded no contest to failure to pay state income taxes earlier this week, that it would be in everyone’s best interests if he resigned, the Associated Press reports. Shepherd also told Gates that he would resign if he was in Gates’ position, according to the AP.
But don’t count on Gates following Shepherd’s advice. From the AP:
“I don’t plan on resigning,” Gates said. “I’m innocent and I plan on doing what the judge has ordered me to do, which is I wanted to do to begin with and that is sort this out with (the state Department of Finance and Administration) and have a meeting of the minds.”
Shepherd had resisted calling for Gates’ resignation after his arrest last year.
Governor Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge were among the prominent Republicans who did call for Gates to step down last year. I’ve asked both of their spokespeople if they plan to renew those calls.