LITTLE ROCK — The Jefferson County Republican Committee is calling on Republican state Treasurer Dennis Milligan to resign.

LITTLE ROCK — The Jefferson County Republican Committee is calling on Republican state Treasurer Dennis Milligan to resign.


In a news release, the committee said it sent a letter to Milligan on Monday asking him to step down. The committee said it had voted at its regular May meeting to send the letter.


Milligan’s office did not immediately respond to an email Monday afternoon seeking comment.


Jefferson County GOP Chairman Peter Smykla Jr. said in the letter, "I write to express the disappointment of county committee members for your betrayal of our confidence and trust. Your actions have failed to restore integrity to the office and have become an embarrassment to your supporters. In the words of a volunteer who put up many of your campaign signs, and was also a donor, ‘This is not why we worked so hard to get him elected.’"


Smykla continued, "Your campaign promised to bring back trust, dignity, and integrity to a state office that had been abused by the former treasurer. Your actions, or more appropriately, failure to take necessary positive actions, regrettably leaves us no choice but to call for your resignation. Timely departure is necessary for the good of the state of Arkansas and before you cause those who supported you any more embarrassment."


Committee member Stu Soffer said Monday that Milligan failed to take appropriate action in response to numerous errors or misdeeds by staff members. Among others, they include:


— Milligan hired — apparently with the support of Chief of Staff Jim Harris and Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Brady — his first cousin, Sam Swayze, as an investment manager assistant for the treasurer’s office. In March, Milligan agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for violating the state’s nepotism by hiring Swayze, who resigned after the violation was discovered.


— As first reported by the Arkansas News Bureau, Brady was working for Milligan’s campaign in 2013 and 2014 when he sent numerous campaign-related emails during regular business hours using the email account of his then-employer, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, which has a policy against involvement in political campaigns.


— In one of Brady’s emails, he asked a vendor to reimburse him about $300 for a campaign-related expense and requested that the campaign provide the money through the vendor, not directly to him, so that his name could be kept out of campaign contribution and expenditure reports.


— In an April 6 email from Harris to Brady, Harris said he suspected that David Singer, then outreach manager for the treasurer’s office, had mental problems related to the death of his wife from cancer and said he was concerned that Singer was using his grief as a pretense to "hit on" a female staff member. Singer, who was fired without explanation April 27, has filed a lawsuit accusing Harris of defamation.


"It is the opinion of the members of the county committee and myself that (Milligan) is acting with less than desired integrity and he needs to go. He’s given the Republican brand a bad name," Soffer said.


Singer, of White Hall, is a member of the committee, but the committee said in its news release that the call for Milligan’s resignation was not in response to Singer’s firing.


"Singer recused himself from the discussion and motion, and offered to resign from the county committee to avoid the appearance the resignation call was retaliation for his wrongful termination. This action is not about Singer’s termination, it is about not restoring trust to the treasurer’s office," the committee said in the release.


Singer did take part in a discussion of Milligan’s performance during an April meeting, but at that time he "spent almost 20 minutes defending Milligan," according to the release.


Soffer said the committee plans to ask other Republican county committees to join in the call for Milligan’s resignation.


Milligan, a former Saline County circuit clerk and former state GOP chairman, was elected treasurer in November. He pledged to restore trust and integrity to the state treasurer’s office following the conviction of his predecessor, Democrat Martha Shoffner, on federal bribery and extortion charges.