The state Ethics Commission will investigate complaints Chris Burks, a North Little Rock lawyer, made about campaign finance issues in Tracy Steele’s unsuccessful race for mayor, won by Terry Hartwick.
Jimmie Cavin, a long-time critic of Steele, has distributed to media letters Burks received from the Ethics Commission saying investigations will be done of two complaints.
One concerns Steele’s report of campaign contributions from what appear to be business entities and a school alumni association. The law limits political contributions to individuals, political parties, legislative caucuses and PACs.
Another complaint, mentioned here previously, concerns spending in support of Steele by POWAR, a registered independent expenditure committee. Burks had complained that POWAR’s treasurer, Durwin Larry, also was paid by Steele as a campaign consultant. Burks contends the POWAR expenditures were effectively unreported contributions to Steele’s campaign.
Letters from Ethics Commission Director Graham Sloan said both complaints merited investigation. The investigations will lead eventually to a preliminary report to the Commission. Steele will have an opportunity to dispute the allegations.