Candidates for Arkansas Attorney General are responding to recent headlines regarding corrupt legislators in the state.
Mike Lee, a democrat running against incumbent Leslie Rutledge, says strengthening the Arkansas Ethics Commission by allowing them to conduct unscheduled audits is among his top priorities. In an announcement Monday, Lee said ethics reform will be one of the key elements of his campaign. His proposal for an anti-corruption and ethics bill includes suggestions for strengthening the Arkansas Ethics Commission, reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups, eliminating gifts for lawmakers, and increasing transparency around campaign spending and fundraising.
"Spot audits. That would be important. The ability to investigate and prosecute without having a complaint filed. Right now there has to be a complaint filed by a citizen before anything gets done," Lee said.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, established a Public Integrity Division in order to investigate corruption among lawmakers and public officials.
Josh Mesker, a spokesman for Rutledge, said, "Since she has been Attorney General, the office has had more convictions for Medicaid fraud than the prior sixteen years combined."