DENNY ALTES: Gone, but not forgotten
Former legislator Denny Altes
of Fort Smith, appointed state drug prevention director
by Gov. Asa Hutchinson
in May 2015, resigned today effective July 1. The state website lists his pay at $73,000, a figure on which retirement for his accumulated time in state employment will be based. Altes is 69.
At this moment, I have no information for the reason for his departure.
As we noted at the time,
Altes wasn't a sterling example of Hutchinson appointments, with a legislative record in House and Senate mostly in support of far-right items — open carry, teaching Bible in public schools, preventing federal officers from making arrests without county sheriff approval.
He's been without profile as drug prevention director. When he was appointed
after more than a decade in the legislature, Altes said he faced a "daunting task" in coordinating the state's drug abuse prevention efforts.
Let's be straight here: Altes is a nut. He was a joke of an appointment to a political sinecure as a payback to someone from the governor's home turf. This happens all the time under all administrations, Democratic and Republican. Doesn't make it right. But when it happens, it takes the shine off those who make the appointment.
One golden oldie for Altes,
on ugly remarks about immigrants and resisting paying unemployment compensation to an employee of a family waste hauling business.
Maybe this is part of the governor's efficiency moves.