LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Ethics Commission is investigating a complaint alleging that state Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, missed multiple deadlines for filing campaign finance reports.
The complaint by Lindsay Brown of North Little Rock alleges that Lowery filed reports during the current election cycle that ranged from six days to 97 days late and that he has yet to file a report for the third quarter of 2015 or a final report for this year’s primary election.
On Thursday Brown provided to reporters a letter dated Aug. 29 from the commission’s executive director, Graham Sloan, advising him that the commission has begun an investigation in response to his complaint.
Lowery is seeking a third term and is facing a challenge from Democrat Bill Rahn of North Little Rock.
Lowery said Thursday in an statement he emailed to the commission and the Arkansas News Bureau, “First and foremost, I want to state that there has been no intent or attempt to conceal the sources and amounts of contributions or the expenses paid by the campaign. The late filings are simply errors of which I wish I could turn back the clock and correct. Unfortunately the ‘cure period’ to correct reports does not afford me the opportunity to correct the report submittal dates.”
Last year, the state Legislature and Gov. Asa Hutchinson approved a change in state ethics laws giving elected officials a 30-day period to return improper gifts from lobbyists and correct reporting errors.
Lowery said the most significantly late filings “were due to my misunderstanding of the requirements to file during a primary election period in which I did not have an opponent. I was mistaken in believing that an end of campaign filing was all that was required in an unopposed election cycle. As for any other untimely submittals referenced in the complaint I will just have to accept blame for a lack of attention to detail.”