Beebe: Had not talked to Bookout about resigning

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he didn't talk to former state Sen. Paul Bookout before the Democratic lawmaker announced he was resigning over an ethics panel's findings that he spent thousands in campaign funds on personal items.

Beebe on Wednesday said he might have publicly called on Bookout to step down in the coming days if he hadn't made the decision to do so. Bookout announced Tuesday he was resigning effective immediately after the Arkansas Ethics Commission fined him $8,000 and issued a reprimand over the campaign spending.

Beebe said he had told other Democratic lawmakers who were preparing to call for Bookout's resignation to first call the Jonesboro lawmaker and tell him beforehand. Beebe said he believed stepping down was the right thing for Bookout to do.

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