Arkansas State Democratic Senator Resigns After Ethics Investigation

Paul Bookout /


Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout resigned Tuesday after an ethics commission found he spent thousands from his reelection campaign on personal items, the Associated Press reports.

The Arkansas Ethics Commission fined Bookout $8,000 last week. Bookout, who has served in the state senate since 2006, announced his resignation in a letter to the Arkansas senate president.

The ethics commission said Bookout's spending included $5,043 for women's clothing and accessories, $8,402 for home theater equipment and installation, and $1,305 for golf equipment at a country club. The panel also said that more than $18,000 from the campaign was transferred to Bookout's personal bank account.

The panel ruled that Bookout violated four state campaign finance laws. Bookout did not have an opponent in the primary or general election last year and reported raising nearly $81,000. His campaign reported spending more than $63,000.