Milligan placed Brady on three days of paid leave starting Monday. On Wednesday, Milligan said his office was unable to verify the authenticity of paper copies of the emails that the Arkansas News Bureau provided.
“Not long after the campaign ended, we closed out the campaign email account so as not to incur further costs,” Milligan said in a written statement. “We have tried to recoup that email account to find the emails in question; but we no longer have access to them. We cannot validate the paper copies of the emails given to the media as far as time stamps nor from what email account might they have been sent.”
Milligan said he was sending a personal letter to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and was including a contribution from him and Brady, “for any public harm this situation has caused their organization.”
He added, “If ACSCAN conducts their own internal review and finds cost associated with my campaign, I have asked they let me know and they will be made whole.”
Ray Carson, ACSCAN’s associate director of media advocacy for the south region, was asked Wednesday evening if the organization had assisted Milligan’s office in its investigation.
“They have not contacted us,” Carson said.
“Last week, I asked Brady to take a few days off to learn more about his personal actions during the campaign.
“While he was out of the office, as part of our due diligence to the taxpayers of Arkansas, we made sure Brady was not conducting any political activity on state time nor using state equipment, and he was fully cleared.
“Let me stress, nothing tied to this issue has anything to do with Brady while he has been a state employee. He has not violated any state laws or ethical guidelines while employed in my office. This issue is about what he did or did not do while he was as a private citizen in the private sector.
“We know for a fact that Brady was not paid for his work from my campaign, and he was strictly a volunteer.
“We also know that Brady worked with a vendor hired by the campaign to manage our Facebook page. We reviewed what Brady did on behalf of my campaign and have seen where it was done so from his personal/private funds. He turned the bills over to and was reimbursed by the vendor. Those expenditures were included in the vendor’s bill submitted to my campaign, paid for with campaign funds and reported on my campaign expenditure and contribution reports.
“Not long after the campaign ended, we closed out the campaign email account so as not to incur further costs. We have tried to recoup that email account to find the emails in question; but we no longer have access to them. We cannot validate the paper copies of the emails given to the media as far as time stamps nor from what email account might they have been sent.
“The campaign had both a conference call number and equipment that Brady had access to; so there would have been no need or reason for him to have utilize any other conference call number. Again, if he used resources outside the campaign, it was beyond my knowledge.
“A private citizen while employed in the private sector, Brady exercised his Constitutional right of association; however, out of respect to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN), he did not make his private political activities in my campaign known to the general public nor staff or volunteers at ACSCAN - so as to protect the 501 C 4 organization from looking as if it endorsed or supported my campaign. Brady acted on his own volition and in no way ever represented to me or anyone else that ACSCAN endorsed or supported my campaign. The Treasurer of State is the State's bank and has no direct influence over health issues important to this wonderful organization, there was never any conflict of interest.
“Additionally, we have been shown an another email by the press which clearly has been altered. As we have stated, these are only paper copies of printed emails and there is no way to validate their authenticity. Distractors will go to any length to attempt to disrupt or harm hardworking and dedicated public servants.
“Finally, I am sending a personal letter to ACSCAN along with a contribution from myself and Jason Brady for any public harm this situation has caused their organization. If ACSCAN conducts their own internal review and finds cost associated with my campaign, I have asked they let me know and they will be made whole. We cannot see where any campaign or ethics laws were violated, maybe only an internal company policy of ACSCAN.
“I look forward to returning back to the work the people of Arkansas elected me to do and to continue to see the success of my Investments Department and reviewing new technologies for continued transparency.”