Arkansas Senate leaders propose ethics rules overhaul

Posted: June 14, 2018 at 2:07 p.m.

FILE PHOTO Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - A view of the Arkansas State Capitol building, looking west.

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas Senate leaders are calling for an overhaul of the chamber's ethics and conflict-of-interest rules a week after a lawmaker who is also the governor's nephew was implicated in a bribery and corruption probe.

Several top senators Thursday detailed proposed changes to the ethics rules that will come up for a vote next week. The proposals include a requirement that any lawmaker indicted be stripped of leadership positions and the creation of a five-member ethics committee to handle complaints against senators.

A lobbyist who pleaded guilty to federal charges said he bribed a lawmaker identified only as "Senator A" in court documents. Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson's attorney has acknowledged his client is the lawmaker referred to, but has denied the allegations. Hutchinson has not been charged in the probe.

Sign up for breaking news
& daily updates delivered
right to your inbox.