Arkansas lawmaker steps down from Senate seat

Paul Bookout

JONESBORO (AP) - Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout is stepping down from his Senate seat after a state ethics panel said he spent thousands of dollars from his campaign on personal items such as women's clothing and home theater equipment.

Senate President Michael Lamoureux said Bookout resigned Tuesday from the state Senate seat that he has held since 2006. Bookout served as president of the state Senate in the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.

Bookout's resignation comes after the state Ethics Commission last week fined him $8,000 and issued a letter of reprimand for violating laws prohibiting the personal use of campaign funds and not detailing the expenditures in his reports.

The panel also said that more than $18,000 from the campaign was transferred to Bookout's personal bank account.

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