Update: Arkansas Senate Ethics Committee

The Senate Ethics Committee recommended Monday that the Senate discipline Senator Alan Clark of Lonsdale and Senator Mark Johnson of Ferndale for violating Senate rules on ethics.


The petition against Clark and Johnson was filed by Senate President Pro Tem Jimmy Hickey, Jr. of Texarkana.


The petition said that on June 3, Johnson signed Clark’s name on a sign-in sheet that is used to determine who is paid per diem expenses.


Clark admitted to the Ethics Committee in written and oral testimony that he did not attend the meeting for which Johnson signed him in, a Boys State meeting at the Capitol. The committee also found that Johnson knew that Clark was not present at the June 3 Boys State meeting, but signed his name on the sign-in sheet anyway.


The Ethics Committee made these recommendations to discipline the senators: that each be sent a letter of reprimand, that they both be removed as chair or vice chair of legislative committees, that they not be eligible to receive mileage or per diem expenses for interim legislative meetings for the duration of the 93rd General Assembly, and that the Pro Tem of the Senate not consider them for appointment to committee assignments for Boys State, Girls State or the Ethics Committee.


Johnson is currently a member of the Ethics Committee, which recommended that he be removed.


The committee has 20 days to submit a letter with its findings to the President Pro Tem, who then has 10 days to call the full Senate into session to consider them.


The 93rd General Assembly will last until the 94th General Assembly begins in early January, 2023.