Democrats call for criminal probe of Mark Martin | Arkansas Blog

Democrats call for criminal probe of Mark Martin

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ONE OF MARTINS PAYEES: Thats private counsel Chad Pekron, with Rep. Tom Cotton. A lawsuit now raises questions about whether Mark Martin could pay Repuboica lawyers like Pekron legally.
  • ONE OF MARTIN'S PAYEES: That's private counsel Chad Pekron (right), with Rep. Tom Cotton. A lawsuit now raises questions about whether Mark Martin could pay lawyers like Pekron legally rather than use the attorney general.
I tend to lean more toward an illegal exaction lawsuit on the hundreds of thousands of dollars Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin has spent contrary to statute on outside counsel, including Asa Hutchinson, but the law is the law, right? A news release from Democrats:

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Tuesday ruled that Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin violated ACA § 25-16-702 by retaining the services of Quattlebaum law firm, a private practice, to represent the State of Arkansas. Violation of ACA § 25-16-702 could subject Martin to indictment or impeachment.

"Arkansans over recent months have been betrayed by Martha Shoffner's abuse of authority and now are faced with Mark Martin's disregard for Arkansas law," said Arkansas State Representative Joe Jett (D- Success). "Arkansans should be able to trust that our statewide officials will follow the law and Secretary Martin has betrayed that trust."

Arkansas State Representative Greg Leding (D- Fayetteville) added, "It's my understanding that Secretary Martin's actions are indictable and I believe Arkansas tax payers deserve their day in court."

So far, Martin's office says it intends to appeal Judge Tim Fox's ruling, which cites the plain language of Arkansas statute prohibiting the sort of expenditure Mark Martin has made. Perhaps Mark Martin can find a court that will legislate from the bench, rather than follow the clear dictate of the law, as people like Antonin Scalia prefer. It's always worth remembering in this case that Martin was shoveling money to Chris Pekron, a Republican supporter, who could be expected to vote with Martin on their joint service on the state Board of Election Commissioners. Appearances are slimy as hell, legal or not.

PS — Don't forget the core issue of this lawsuit by Matt Campbell, the Blue Hog blogger. Why is Secretary of State Martin fighting so hard to withhold public documents from inspection?

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