LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas News Bureau on Thursday provided state Treasurer Dennis Milligan with electronic evidence of a staff member’s use of a non-partisan group’s email account for Milligan’s campaign — and was told by a spokesperson that the matter is closed.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas News Bureau on Thursday provided state Treasurer Dennis Milligan with electronic evidence of a staff member’s use of a non-partisan group’s email account for Milligan’s campaign — and was told by a spokesperson that the matter is closed.


Milligan’s office "has made its comment," spokesman Grant Wallace said.


Jim Harris, Milligan’s chief of staff, said later that he could not verify the email was authentic.


The Arkansas News Bureau reported Sunday that emails from 2013 and 2104 show that Milligan’s then-campaign manager and current deputy chief of staff, Jason Brady, frequently conducted business for Milligan’s campaign while using an email account provided to him by his employer at the time, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.


The non-partisan organization does not support or oppose political candidates. An ACSCAN spokesman said its employees are strictly prohibited from engaging in electioneering and said the organization would conduct an internal review.


On Monday, Milligan placed Brady on paid leave and said his office was looking into the matter. On Wednesday, Milligan said his office had "fully cleared" Brady of any violations of campaign or ethics laws and said the authenticity of the emails could not be verified because the office had seen only paper copies and because the campaign had deleted all its emails after the election.


"These are only paper copies of printed emails and there is no way to validate their authenticity. Distractors will go to any length to attempt to disrupt or harm hardworking and dedicated public servants," Milligan said in the statement.


ACSCAN said Wednesday that no one from Milligan’s office had contacted it.


Milligan also said Wednesday that he and Brady were going to make a donation to ACSCAN, and that if the organization found that it had been harmed, he would see that it was made whole.


Brady said in a statement to the Arkansas News Bureau on Friday that it appeared he had inadvertently used the cancer.org account — five days before Milligan raised the possibility that the emails were doctored.


By Thursday afternoon the Arkansas News Bureau had contacted two people who, independently of each other, agreed to forward emails in electronic form that support the bureau’s reporting. One was David Singer, Milligan’s former outreach manager, and the other asked not to be identified because of fear of retaliation.


Singer, who was fired by Milligan on Monday without explanation, forwarded an email that shows it originated with Brady on May 22, 2014, at 5:25 a.m. In the email, Brady discusses GOP primary election results, lists factors he believes contributed to Milligan’s victory over Duncan Baird, and says the results contains "nuggets of info Dennis needs when talking about his victory."


The email was sent on the account jason.l.brady@cancer.org. It bears the signature "Jason Brady/Arkansas Government Relations, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.," followed by the organization’s address and two links, still active, to its website.


The email shows that it was forwarded by Rick Meyer, the treasurer for Milligan’s campaign, to several people, including Milligan and Jim Harris, now Milligan’s chief of staff, at 7:26 a.m. on May 22, 2014.


Milligan fired Meyer, who had been working on the effort to pay back the campaign’s debt, on Wednesday, also without explanation.


Harris said Thursday that he had nothing to compare the email to because of the campaign’s decision to delete all its emails.


Asked if the electronic email was more convincing evidence than the paper copies of emails, Harris said, "So the text of a forwarded email can’t be doctored?"


Although the email quoted above shows that Brady sent it in the early morning, most of the emails the Arkansas News Bureau has obtained show that Brady sent them during regular business hours on weekdays.


Singer said Thursday that Brady’s work for Milligan’s campaign during business hours while employed by ACSCAN is troubling because at the time Brady’s salary was being paid by a group that receives public donations — presumably from people who believe their donations are going to fight cancer.


"There’s a lobbyist arm, and they’re supposed to be lobbying for the good of it, and he’s running a political campaign. I think it’s outrageous. … And that is based on first-hand knowledge of the ravages and tortures of cancer," said Singer, whose wife, Wendy, died of cancer last year.