"Politics can be a toxic business. I will no longer subject my
family to its hard lessons," Darr said in a statement. Darr
continued to insist that he was guilty only of "mistakes, but not
one with malicious intent."
"I have been honest, forthright and acted with integrity," said
In December, Darr agreed to an $11,000 fine imposed by the Arkansas
Ethics Commission and accepted its finding of 11 breaches of
regulations and statutes including converting campaign funds to
personal use and receiving improper expense reimbursements from
taxpayer funds. The questioned sums involved about $40,000.
Darr's resignation had been urged by numerous Arkansas politicians
including Governor Mike Beebe, a Democrat. But it was of special
importance to Republicans, who wanted Darr out of office as they
head into 2014 elections for governor and U.S. Senate.
State law prevents Beebe, who took office in 2007, from seeking a
third four-year term, and the race to succeed him is considered
competitive. Senator Mark Pryor, after two terms, is widely viewed
as among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in this year's
The five Republicans in the six-member Arkansas congressional
delegation publicly called for Darr to step down, and Democrats in
the state House of Representatives warned they would introduce an
impeachment resolution when the legislature convenes next month
should he refuse.
[to top of second column]
The inquiry also forced Darr to abandon a campaign for the U.S.
Long a Democratic Party stronghold, Arkansas has recently elected
Republicans, who benefited from the unpopularity of President Barack
Obama, a Democrat.
Darr was among dozens of Republicans swept into office in 2010 in
Arkansas, when his party won control of both chambers of the state
General Assembly for the first time in more than a century.
Republican dismay at Darr's refusal to leave his office was
heightened by the prompt resignations of two prominent Arkansas
Democratic officeholders, both of whom ran aground in similar
circumstances in 2013.
In addition to the civil sanctions imposed by the Ethics Commission,
Darr faces the possibility of criminal charges which a state
prosecutor says he is considering.
(Reporting by Steve Barnes; editing by Mary Wisniewski and Lisa
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