LITTLE ROCK — The state Ethics Commission on Friday dismissed complaints against a state legislator from Pine Bluff and a Cabot city official.
In a 4-0 vote, with one member absent, the commission voted to dismiss a complaint alleging that Rep. Mike Holcomb, R-Pine Bluff, received a $3,000 campaign contribution from the Arkansas Conservative Legislative PAC for last year’s general election, in excess of the $2,700 cap.
In a letter to Holcomb, the commission’s chairman, Graham Sloan, said an investigation showed that Holcomb received a single contribution of $1,500 from the group, but the contribution was mistakenly reported twice.
In November, the commission determined that Holcomb had failed to report certain expenditures but that the failure was an error and that Holcomb had amended his filings within 30 days of learning of the error, so he was not in violation of reporting laws.
The commission also voted 4-0 Friday to dismiss a complaint alleging that Eddie Cook, director of operations for the city of Cabot, improperly used property provided with public funds and devoted time during usual office hours to support a political campaign. The complaint alleged that Cook exchanged 251 text messages and 78 phone calls with Tom Koller, who was a candidate for the Cabot City Council, using a city-owned phone.
Sloan said in a letter to Cook that an investigation showed Cook and Koller were friends before Koller decided to become a candidate and that personal use of city-owned phones is permissible under the city’s employee handbook.
Cook and Koller also said in sworn statements that the text messages and phone calls were not campaign-related.