Recently Lt. Governor Mark Darr made statewide news when Signature Bank of Arkansas filed a lawsuit to foreclose on his Springdale home.
While everyone at some point goes through tough economic times, Darr’s responses to the news made the story worse – he didn’t tell the whole truth initially and then he blame-shifted.
When Darr was first asked by a reporter if he had missed multiple mortgage payments he said no, which is what was reported in the first Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story. Then Darr changed his story in the second article claiming he was indeed aware that he had missed mortgage payments but just wasn’t sure of how many. Darr also blamed the bank for the mistake in the initial interview.
In a written statement to the press later, Darr hinted that maybe this lawsuit was politically motivated since Niki Cung was the attorney who filed the lawsuit. Earlier this year, Cung was a Court of Appeals candidate and Darr endorsed her opponent. Darr attempted to set-up a “revenge” storyline in his statement, why else would he even mention the attorney who filed the lawsuit? Darr forgets that attorneys file lawsuits only when their clients want them to – meaning Cung was just doing her job.
A Northwest Arkansas Times editorial really takes Darr to task for his handling of the whole mess and they argue he’s not ready for “primetime.” Below is an excerpt from the September 30th editorial:
A story in last week’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed Darr got sued for foreclosure on a rental home he owns in Springdale. Darr’s response was to first blame the bank, then admit he was in arrears but was working on it, then accuse the media of picking on him and then to blame political enemies.
His response reminded us of candidate Darr in 2010: unprepared, inexperienced and shallow.
Look, Darr’s not the first person or the last to run into financial trouble in these tough times. We get it. It happens. Nor is he the first elected official to have personal financial trouble make news. Having your personal life exposed to the public is part of being an elected official.
It’s Darr’s panicky and disingenuous run for cover that’s got our dander up. He eventually admitted he knew there were problems with his mortgages. And while he may not have known a foreclosure suit had been filed that particular day, he should have had a better answer at hand than the bank screwed up.
As for his implication that the lawyer who fi led the suit, Niki Cung, was somehow motivated by political revenge because Darr had supported someone else in Cung’s unsuccessful run for a nonpartisan judicial offce, give us a break. It’s not the attorney who chooses to file a suit, it’s the plaintift. Cung was just doing her job.
Darr wasn’t ready for primetime when he ran for offce in 2010. Despite some progress, it’s clear he’s still not.