Arkansas Ethics Commission fines Dillinger
Money is the culprit in Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger's second go-round with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
In August 2006 Dillinger signed an offer of settlement, and by doing so, admitted to violating state campaign ethics codes, according to a letter issued by the commission director, Graham Sloan.
"It is the commission's view that such misconduct serves to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the governmental process ... (the commission condemns) your misconduct," wrote Ted Dickey, who chaired the 2006 investigation.
This time though, the reprimand is different. "The commission is hereby issuing you this public letter of caution which is advisory in nature and serves to give clear notice that your actions violated the law," wrote the current investigation chairman, Joe Ball.
Todd Elder, the commission's director of compliance who dealt with the most recent charges, as well as the 2006 investigation, said the charges against Dillinger stem from his failure to properly report his sources of income as well as his campaign contributions and expenditures each year, from 2003 to the present.
Chuck Dabbs, who was one of the complainants against Dillinger's first violations, filed the current accusations against Dillinger in October 2006.
Elder said one of Dabbs' major upsets was Dillinger's failure to report payment for a billboard. "One of Mr. Dabbs' biggest concerns seemed to be that he (Dillinger) spent $1,050 on a campaign billboard and didn't itemize it as an expense," he said.
Since that time the commission investigated Dabb's claims, found probable cause for the charges and presented Dillinger with an offer of settlement, Sloan said.
Feb. 2 the commission issued letters to both Dillinger and Dabbs explaining the charges and outcome of their investigation.
The letter states that because Dillinger signed the written offer of settlement, he acknowledged his violations. As a result the commission issued Dillinger a public letter of caution and a $150 fine.
Interested persons can learn further information regarding Dillinger's charges by going online to www.arkansasethics.com or can call 501-324-9602 to speak with an Ethics Commission representative.
As of press time, Dillinger could not be reached for comment.