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Darr repays $10,973 owed to state, McDaniel says

Posted: September 4, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

Former Lt. Gov. Mark Darr has reimbursed the state $10,973 for improper expenses, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Thursday.

The owed money stems from misspending of taxpayer funds identified by auditors for the Legislative Audit division, which disclosed its findings in mid-December.

The division's auditors said Darr received $9,836 in improper mileage reimbursements from January 2011-September 2013, used a state travel card to purchase $1,137 in personal items that lacked a business purpose and used a state credit card for $205 in lodging within Little Rock in violation of state travel regulations, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previous reported. They also said supporting documents for expenditures of $2,755 were not maintained by Darr's office, so they couldn't substantiate the business purpose for the money.

The auditors recommended Darr reimburse the state $10,973, Deputy Legislative Auditor Jon Moore said in a report dated April 7.

Darr gave McDaniel’s office a check for the full amount Thursday, McDaniel’s office said, “thus resolving the matter without a need for litigation.”

In August, McDaniel's chief deputy had said the office was "prepared to immediately move forward" with litigation, if necessary, to recoup the money.

On top of the $10,973, Darr also was fined $11,000 for improperly spending campaign funds and tax dollars and violating state ethics laws and regulations.

Darr resigned, effectively on Feb. 1, after the state Ethics Commission levied the fine.

Read Friday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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