Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan has paid a $1,000 fine and repaid nearly $7,000 in salary received by his cousin, who improperly held a job in his office for about a month.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she has concluded her investigation into circumstances where Milligan hired a relative, his cousin Sam Swayze, in violation of state law which prohibits the practice.
Milligan has since dismissed Swayze from his staff, paid a $1,000 civil penalty, and reimbursed the state $6,941.62 in personal funds for Swayze’s salary.
“I have concluded my investigation of Treasurer of State Milligan. As a result of my findings, Treasurer Milligan has agreed to a settlement agreement,” Rutledge said. “He has signed the agreement with my office and will pay the maximum civil penalty of $1,000. Although the agreement gives Treasurer Milligan until April 6, 2015 to pay the penalty, he elected to pay the fine upon signing the settlement. This payment will be deposited to the General Revenue Fund Account of the State Apportionment Fund. Treasurer Milligan has met the requirements set forth in the settlement, and I now consider this matter resolved.”
Milligan has apologized for the hiring previously and provided a new statement on Friday.
“During my campaign for State Treasurer, I promised the people of Arkansas I would follow the law and above that do what is right in order to restore integrity and accountability to the Treasurer of State’s office,” Milligan said. “In the early days of my administration, a hiring mistake was made. Today, I have signed an agreement with the Attorney General’s office and paid a $1,000 civil penalty. To make things right with the hard working taxpayers of Arkansas, I have voluntarily reimbursed the state for the full amount of Sam Swayze’s gross salary, $6,941.62.
“Once again, I apologize to my family, my staff and more importantly, the people of Arkansas. As a result of our internal review, I ordered the implementation of a new policy and procedure to ensure this does not happen again. These steps: the self-reported disclosure of the mistake, my public apology and paying both a civil penalty and fully reimbursing the taxpayer’s money back to them, will hopefully close this issue and allow us to get back to the job of governing.”
Milligan, a Republican, was elected to the post in November 2014.