May 13-19, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
SUNSHINE. After the deluge, this week concluded crisp and clear and sunny.
STATE EMPLOYEES. Despite tight budgets and an uncertain economy, the Beebe administration has decided to fully implement a new state pay plan that should produce raises July 1 for about 35,000 state workers.
It was a BAD week for …
The STATE LOTTERY. By a 5-4 vote, the state lottery commission voted to let commissioners recruit applicants to direct the new lottery, rather than insist that they all apply. Think they have some specific candidates in mind? That was reflected, too, in a push by some commissioners to insist on strong Arkansas roots for the person hired.
The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. A state audit has been turned over to a local prosecutor for review on the finding that public money was converted to private use as a means to sidestep a state salary cap for the football coach.
ATTORNEY GENERAL DUSTIN MCDANIEL. The Democrat-Gazette discovered he'd been flying a state Correction Department airplane for free to make public appearances around the state, the appearances designed to enhance his political standing. The lack of payment was just an oversight, all involved claimed. (Forgotten until the newspaper inquires.)
S. GENE CAULEY. The once high-flying class action securities law litigator from Little Rock surrendered his law license and said he planned to plead guilty to federal charges over misappropriating $9 million in funds from a settlement he won.
STATE REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN DOYLE WEBB. He admitted, rather defiantly, that he'd been rousing Republican audiences by talking up the possibility that a lesbian legislator, Rep. Kathy Webb, could lead the legislature's Joint Budget Committee. It's all about family values, said Doyle Webb (no relation to the legislator) who got in ethical trouble as a lawyer for enriching himself from the estate of an elderly client.