Republican Party Files Lawsuit Against Democrat AG Candidate Nate Steel

by KATV Channel 7 ([email protected]) 213 views 

From Elicia Dover with our content partner, KATV Ch. 7:

The Republican Party of Arkansas filed a lawsuit against Democratic Attorney General Candidate Nate Steel on Tuesday.

The lawsuit filer, GOP Chairman Doyle Webb, wants a court to rule that Steel cannot hold two civil offices at the same time. Steel says his positions are legal.

Steel is currently a state representative and an attorney for the city of Nashville.

“Nate Steel has violated the Arkansas constitution by having two positions and having his hands both in the treasury cookie jar of the City of Nashville and the cookie jar of the state of Arkansas,” Webb said.

In the Arkansas Constitution Article 5, Section 10, states that “No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office under this State.”

“Currently what we hope the lawsuit will resolve is that Nate Steel will pay back to the state and or the city of Nashville the funds he has received illegally,” Webb said.

But Steel pointed to a different section of Arkansas law, A.C.A 14-43-319, which says that “If no resident attorney of the city is willing to serve as city attorney or if no attorney resides within the limits of the city, the mayor and city council may contract with any licensed attorney of this state or the attorney’s firm to serve as legal advisor, counselor, or prosecutor until a qualified city attorney is elected or qualified.”

When Steel’s father, also a lawyer, resigned his post as city attorney, there was not another attorney in the city that could fill his place, according to Steel.

“That’s exactly what Nashville did,” Steel said. “Nashville is a small town in south Arkansas, not unlike a lot of towns, they don’t have a lot of resident attorneys.”

Steel provided his contract with the City of Nashville.

In Steel’s contract, it states that Steel is a contracted employee:

“It is being understood by and between the parties hereto that employer does not hold the office of city attorney, but shall serve as the city contracted attorney and counselor pursuant to A.C.A 14-43-319(2)(A).”

Steel says he believes the lawsuit is only a political stunt to confuse voters right before the election.

“The fact that they picked this issue out to hit me on, shows that there’s nothing else there that they can really make an issue out of in my professional record,” Steel said.

Webb says the suit isn’t retaliatory against recent attacks on Steel’s Republican opponent Leslie Rutledge.

“We would never use that as a political means and it’s something we discovered within the last week and a half and we discovered it, it’s incumbent upon us to follow through on it,” Webb said.

Steel says he believes the lawsuit will be dismissed. Webb says he wants Steel to pay back his past salaries.

Watch a video report and read comments on the story at this link from our content partner, KATV Ch. 7.