Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson addresses the press during a "Pen and pad" press conference in his office, Monday, March 25, 2019.

Governor Hutchinson, who said state Rep. Mickey Gates (R-Hot Springs) should resign last year after Gates was charged with multiple tax-related felonies, has renewed his call for Gates to step down after Gates’ no contest plea earlier this week.

Through a spokesman, he said:


“It is unacceptable for* a public official, particularly a state legislator, to continue to hold office after being found guilty of a criminal violation of our tax laws. He should resign or be removed from office.”

*Spokesman J.R. Davis passed along an amended statement that changed the word “that” to “for.”


UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge agreed:

“By his criminal plea of no contest, Rep. Gates admitted that he did not properly pay taxes for years and owes the state money. Rep. Gates has betrayed the public trust and should not remain in a position to be paid by taxpayers while he still owes taxpayers.”


*A previous version of this post included what appeared to be a bizarre nonanswer from Rutledge. The statement was provided to the Times in error.