Gov. Hutchinson’s chief of staff resigns, leaves for new ‘opportunity’

by Steve Brawner ([email protected]) 365 views 

Michael Lamoureux, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff, is leaving his post at the end of May, the governor’s office announced Monday (May 2).

In a press release from Hutchinson’s office, Lamoureux said he was leaving “for another opportunity.” Hutchinson’s spokesman, J.R. Davis, said no other details are available and a replacement has not been named.

Hutchinson said in the release, “Michael has been an essential part of my team from the beginning, and I will greatly miss his counsel and strategic thinking. There are very few people who offer the same depth of state government experience as Michael, and his service as my chief of staff has proven key in accomplishing my legislative agenda. I wish him all the best in his future opportunities.”

Hutchinson asked the Russellville Republican to serve as his transition director and chief of staff soon after Hutchinson was elected governor in November 2014. The move required Lamoureux to resign his Senate seat, where he was serving as president pro tempore. Lamoureux was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 2009. He previously was elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 and was House minority leader for one term in 2005.

In October 2015, the Associated Press reported that Lamoureux in 2013 had been paid $120,000 in consulting fees by the Arkansas Faith and Freedom Coalition, a lobbying firm, while serving as president pro tempore.

The AP’s Claudia Lauer reported that the coalition raised $141,000 that year, and that a board member said Lamoureux had been responsible for raising the money. The group’s mission was to educate Arkansans about their right to vote, but Lauer reported that the group had spent no money on research, advertising or candidate promotion that year.

At the time, Hutchinson’s spokesman, J.R. Davis, said, “Michael Lamoureux is chief of staff for the governor and that won’t change.” The controversy soon died down, and Lamoureux remained in his post.

Asked if Lamoureux’s move was related to that story Hutchinson said, “No. This is his decision. He told me about 10 days ago that he, for family reasons, financial reasons, he needed to make that switch, and so that was his decision. Wish him well.”