This morning, Talk Business confirmed the rumors that have been floating around the state capitol for a couple of weeks. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel admitted in a short statement that he had “limited interaction” with Hot Springs attorney Andi Davis, which he regretted “to say was inappropriate.”
After admitting this bombshell, he now insists that he does not have anything more to say on this matter.
Sorry, Dustin but there are a lot more questions you still need to answer.
First of all, what in world do you mean by “inappropriate?” That categorization is so broad it could be anything from having a long-term affair to a casual flirtation at a party. This parsing of words cannot help but send us all into flashbacks of Bill Clinton wagging his finger saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” before finally admitting to having a “relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate.”
So does McDaniel use the word inappropriate in the same way Clinton did?
On top of this, it is not the first time McDaniel has had marital troubles. He divorced his first wife, Amanda, shortly after being elected Attorney General in 2007. He married his current wife, Bobbi, in 2009.
Where to begin.
For starters, Davis represented the plaintiffs in the school choice case currently on appeal. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a brief in this case that asked the Court to stay the ruling against the plaintiffs represented by Davis. I don't believe that our state's chief attorney remembered to disclose his relationship – inappropriate or otherwise – with the plaintiff to the court. There could be other cases, but this one stands out like a sore thumb.
Then, there is quite a cloud that hangs around Davis herself. The custody dispute filing that started all of this is filled with all sorts of allegations involving extramarital affairs and relationships with names such as Josh Drake, a Green Party candidate against Congressman-elect Tom Cotton (UPDATE – Drake denies the charge telling me “For the record I have never been alone with (Davis) much less had any sort of contact whatsoever.”), former Mena prosecutor Tim Williamson, and WM3 attorney Jeff Rosenzweig. There are also charges of illegal drug use and other sorts of bizarre activities.
Finally, Davis is involved in a murder investigation. According to reports from the Garland County Sheriff Department, a man named Maxwell Anderson was shot and killed outside Davis' home on February 29, 2012. I have a request in to the Sheriff's Department for more information on this, but according to news reports at the time, both Davis and her brother, Matthew Davis, were present and questioned by police. The linked photo from the Hot Springs' Sentinel Record shows Davis being taken into custody in handcuffs after the incident. The prosecuting attorney's office tells me that the investigation is still ongoing but no charges have been filed yet.
As of this posting, Davis has yet to respond to reporter inquiries, including Talk Business.
In short, this is not a story that is simply going to go away for McDaniel. This appears to instead be one that will develop over the course of the next several weeks or maybe even months. Will McDaniel survive? I have not the slightest clue, but there is a whole lot of smoke on this one.
UPDATE – Here is the incident report from the Garland County Sheriff Department. There is not a lot of new information. Andi Davis is listed as the “complainant.” Her brother Matthew Davis – who is also listed as working for her law firm – is listed as a “suspect.”
The shooting that resulted in Maxwell Andersen's death is estimated to have taken place between 2:10 pm and 2:21 pm on the Wednesday afternoon of February 29, 2012 in front of Andi Davis' home near Lake Hamilton.
Here is the written description from the reporting officer Deputy Dodge…
On 2-29-12 at aprorox 1421 hrs I Dep Dodge responded to a call of a shooting. Upon arrival I encountered the complaint & suspect sitting outside along with a unknown deceased white subject on the ground. The scene was secured & CID was notified. CID arrived & the scene was turned over to them. No more information was available at the time of this report.