Ark. ethics panel fines senator $8K for violations

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The Arkansas Ethics Commission has fined a former president of the state Senate $8,000 after ruling that he spent campaign funds on women's clothing, a home theater and other personal items in violation of state law.

The commission on Friday voted unanimously to fine Sen. Paul Bookout (D-Jonesboro) $2,000 each for violating four state ethics laws. The commission said Bookout spent thousands on personal items such as women's clothing and a home theater.

Bookout said that he will reimburse his campaign $49,000 and repay contributors. He says he doesn't plan on appealing the panel's ruling.

Bookout has served in the state Senate since 2006 and served as the chamber's president in the 2011 and 2012 sessions. He served three terms in the state House.

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