Lt. Governor Mark Darr may have announced his resignation, but with Gov. Mike Beebe out of state Tuesday, Darr will be acting as governor, and there’s some question as to whether Darr’s resignation has met the legal requirements to be official.
Beebe will be attending a National Governors Association Executive Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. According to Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample, it will be a one day trip – first flight out, last flight in Tuesday. However, under the Constitution, Darr, who resigned last Friday effective Feb. 1, will be acting as governor.
Darr resigned after the Arkansas Ethics Commission fined him $11,000 for improper use of campaign and state funds and calls grew for his impeachment. In his statement, he said, “Effective 2/1/14 I will resign as Lieutenant Governor and I submit that resignation to the people of Arkansas, not an elected official.”
Is that resignation actually a resignation? DeCample said the Governor’s Office isn’t sure.
“One of the many questions that we’re looking at right now is if he has actually legally resigned yet because as you, I’m sure, saw in his statement, he has not issued any letter of resignation to this office or any other state office,” DeCample said. “And so we’re trying to figure out if just his declaration of resignation, if you want to call it that, is suitable or if the law requires an actual letter. … Our in-house counsel and the (attorney general’s) office have been conferring about that.”
DeCample said an answer is expected soon.
DeCample said Beebe is not concerned about leaving the state with Darr still able to act as governor. No other out-of-state trips are planned between now and Feb. 1.
Darr’s office was contacted after hours on Monday and was not available for comment.
UPDATE: Amber Pool, press spokesman for Lt. Gov. Darr, released this statement today:
“Lieutenant Governor Darr will comply with all formal protocols concerning his departure from office by February 1, 2014.”