ABOUT THE COMMISSION
Information for Public Guidance
William C. Bird III
William Bird has practiced with the Little Rock law firm of Dover Dixon Horne PLLC since 2005. His primary area of practice is litigation, and he serves as editor of the firm’s business defense newsletter – “The Defensive Front.” He graduated with high honors from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. While in law school, he served as an associate editor of the law review and was honored as Bowen Scholar. Mr. Bird’s law review casenote, which focused on public school freedom of speech, has been cited by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit as well as several law reviews across the country. He is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and has served as Awards & Subgrants Committee Associate Judge and as a Touch 10,000 Program Ambassador for the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association.
Prior to practicing law, Mr. Bird worked as public relations professional with Stone Ward advertising agency in Little Rock and in the communications office at UALR. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (1998).
He and his wife Julie have three children - Olivia, Wesley and Everett.
Sharon K. Trusty
Ms. Trusty is the President of Trusty & Associates, LLC, in Russellville. She served nearly a decade in the Arkansas State Senate and was on the Joint Budget Committee and was a member of Legislative Council.
Prior to her Senate career, she was a Commissioner with the Arkansas Department of Economic Development and was a member of the Arkansas State Workforce Education Board.
She is an active member of her community where she recently completed 30 years of service on the Board of St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and was Chairman at the time of her retirement from the Board. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of Simmons Bank and is a member of the Russellville Chamber of Commerce. She attended Arkansas Tech University and is a published author.
She is a member of Victory Baptist Church in Russellville. She and her husband, Fritz Kronberger, have 5 daughters and 10 grandchildren.
Sybil Jordan Hampton, Ed. D.
A native of Springfield, Missouri, Dr. Hampton grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and was member of the second class of black students entering Little Rock Central High School in 1959. She earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana; a Master of Science in Teaching from the University of Chicago; a Master’s in Education and a Doctorate in Higher Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Dr. Hampton served as the third president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) from October 1, 1996 to August 31, 2006. She became General Manager of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in December 2006 after the untimely death of ASO’s Executive Director, William Vickery and worked in this position until the selection of a the new Executive Director in April 2007. Her latest professional pursuit centers on consulting with foundations, nonprofits and state/federal agencies on issues related to strategic planning, program development and implementation, professional development, strategies promoting community wide or regional collaboration, facilitating public policy formulation, and improving and enhancing governance.
Prior to joining WRF, she served as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Professor of Education at Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas; Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs in the School of Family Resources and Consumer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Contributions Manager, Education and Culture, at the GTE Corporate Foundation, Stamford, Connecticut; Assistant Dean For Academic Affairs and Instructor, at Iona College, New Rochelle, New York, and as an elementary school teacher at the Louis Champlain School in Chicago.
Dr. Hampton has participated in numerous professional and civic organizations over the years, including the Georgetown Foundation for Educational Excellence, the Madison Committee for the Arts, the Earlham College Board of Trustees, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Eastern Association of College Deans and Advisors of Students. She served on the selection committees for the Presidential Scholars and the Coca-Cola Scholars.
Dr. Hampton’s awards and honors include: 2013 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site’s Soul of Humanity Award; 2005 Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Inductee; 2005 Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) Lifetime Achievement Award and 14th Annual James A. Joseph Lecturer; Arkansas Region, National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) Humanitarian Award, 2002; Arkansas Business Top 100 Women in Arkansas 1997, 1998, and 1999; Earlham College Outstanding Alumni Award, 1998; Woman of Achievement, Iona College, 1986; and New Rochelle , New York NAACP Education Award, 1978.
Dr. Hampton currently is a member of the following boards: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Blue and You Foundation, the Mount Holly Cemetery, and the Little Rock Club. She is a life member of Girl Scouts of America.
BIOGRAPHY COMING SOON
The mission of the Arkansas Ethics Commission is to serve as the compliance and enforcement agency under Arkansas' standards of conduct and disclosure laws concerning candidates for public office, state and local public officials, lobbyists and committees, and individuals involved with initiatives, referenda and other matters referred to the voters.
The Commission promotes openness and accountability in government through a balanced approach to its statutory duties of interpreting, investigating compliance with and issuing sanctions for proven violations of Arkansas' ethics and public disclosure laws.
The Arkansas Ethics Commission was established in 1991 as a result of the voters' approval of Initiated Act I of 1990. The Commission is made up of five members who serve five-year staggered terms and are appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, respectively. Members of the Commission serve without compensation, but may receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.
The Commission's staff is composed of:
1 Executive Director
2 Staff Attorneys
2 Directors of Compliance
1 Systems Administrator
1 Fiscal Officer
2 Administrative Assistants
The Commission's authorities and responsibilities are set out in Ark. Code Ann. §§ 7-6-217 and 218, and include: (1) drafting or reviewing and approving disclosure forms used by public officials, lobbyists, political action committees, candidates for office, and ballot and legislative question committees; (2) monitoring compliance with disclosure requirements; (3) issuing advisory opinions interpreting the ethics laws assigned to its jurisdiction; (4) investigating alleged violations of the law and determining whether a violation has occurred; (5) holding monthly public meetings and conducting public hearings; (6) issuing disciplinary action for violations of the law, or referring its findings to a prosecuting attorney for criminal proceedings; (7) answering questions regarding Arkansas ethics laws on a daily, informal basis; (8) preparing and distributing educational materials for candidates, elected and appointed officials, lobbyists, political action committees, and ballot and legislative question committees; (9) maintaining report files on all ballot question and legislative question committees registering in accordance with the Disclosure Act for Public Initiatives, Referenda and Measures Referred to Voters and (10) responding to questions and requests for documents under the FOIA.
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INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC GUIDANCE
The following was first posted online on June 30, 2003, in compliance with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 2001.
The Arkansas Ethics Commission was established in 1991 as a result of the passage of Initiated Act 1 of 1990. The Commission is comprised of five Commissioners who enforce certain ethics, conflicts of interest, lobbying, campaign, campaign finance, and ballot question laws within the State of Arkansas. Specifically, the Commission has jurisdiction over the following:
Sections 28, 29, and 30 of Article 19 of the Arkansas Constitution;
Ark. Code Ann. § 3-8-701 et seq. (entitled “Disclosure Act for Initiative Proceedings”);
Ark. Code Ann. § 7-1-103(a)(1)-(4), (6) and (7) (concerning “Elections”);
Ark. Code Ann. § 7-6-201 et seq. (entitled “Campaign Financing”);
Ark. Code Ann. § 7-9-401 et seq. (entitled “Disclosure Act for Public Initiatives, Referenda, and Measures Referred to Voters”);
Ark. Code Ann. § 19-11-718 (concerning “Special State Employees – Conflicts of Interest”)
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-1-401 et seq. (concerning “Constitutional Officers and Their Spouses”);
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-8-301 through § 21-8-903 (referred to as “The Disclosure Act for Lobbyists and State and Local Officials");
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-8-1001 et seq. (pertaining to “State Boards, Commissions, and Entities Receiving State Funds”); and
Ark. Code Ann. § 23-115-501(e) and § 23-115-601(j) (concerning “Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act” vendor/retailer gift/compensation prohibition).
Members of the
Commission serve five year terms and are appointed one each by the Governor, the
Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the President Pro Tempore of the
Senate, and the Speaker of the House. Commission members serve without
compensation, but may receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in the
performance of their official duties.
The Commission’s staff consists of a director, two staff attorneys, two directors of compliance, one fiscal officer, one systems administrator, and two administrative assistants, who are responsible for general administration and operation of the Commission’s office. This staff may make office administrative procedure, act as spokesman for the Commission, receive correspondence and correspond on behalf of the Commission, provide legal and other research to the Commission, investigate allegations of violations of laws under the Commission’s jurisdiction, and perform such other functions as the Commission deems appropriate. The Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure govern all proceedings before the Commission and are applicable to any complaints filed with the Commission.
The Commission's authorities and responsibilities are set out in Ark. Code Ann. §§ 7-6-217 and 218. Functions performed by the Commission include: (1) drafting or reviewing and approving disclosure forms, instructions, and calendars used by public officials, lobbyists, political action committees, candidates for office, and ballot and legislative question committees; (2) monitoring compliance with disclosure requirements; (3) issuing advisory opinions concerning the ethics laws under its jurisdiction; (4) investigating alleged violations of the ethics laws and determining whether a violation has occurred; (5) holding monthly public meetings and conducting public hearings; (6) issuing disciplinary action for violations of the law, or referring its finding to a prosecuting attorney for criminal proceedings; (7) answering questions regarding the statutes under its jurisdiction on a daily, informal basis; (8) preparing and distributing instructional and educational materials and conducting training sessions for candidates, elected and appointed officials, lobbyists, political action committees, and ballot and legislative question committees; (9) maintaining files on all ballot question and legislative question committees registered in accordance with the Disclosure Act for Public Initiatives, Referenda, and Measures Referred to Voters; (10) promulgating rules and regulations to implement and administer the statutes under its jurisdiction; (11) responding to questions and requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”); (12) making information publicly accessible in an electronic form via the internet; and (13) implementing and maintaining a reminder notice program.
The Commission’s office is located at 501 Woodlane Street Suite 301N, Little Rock, Arkansas. Its telephone numbers are (501) 324-9600 and (800) 422-7773. The Commission’s mailing address is Post Office Box 1917, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-1917. Its electronic mail and internet addresses are ContactUs@ArkansasEthics.com and www.arkansasethics.com. Persons may obtain access to public records of the Commission by visiting its office, viewing its website, or submitting a request for records.
The following is a list and general description of the Commission’s records:
Commission meeting records, including agenda, written minutes, and audio tapes of the meetings.
Case files, including correspondence, complaints, and records of the investigation.
Final action letters setting forth the Commission’s final action in cases before the Commission and the reasons for such action.
Public letters of sanction, including letters of caution, warning, and reprimand.
Records related to fines imposed by the Commission.
Advisory opinions issued by the Commission on its own initiative or in response to written requests setting forth inquiries into matters under its jurisdiction.
Ballot and legislative question committee records filed with the Commission, including: statements of organization, financial reports, and notices of dissolution.
Forms and instructions published by the Commission for candidates, lobbyists, political action committees, ballot and legislative question committees, and other persons subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Records related to reminder notices prepared by the Commission including databases of public officials, candidates for public office, state boards and commissions, lobbyists, and political action committees.
Records of review exercises, including memoranda and corrective action letters.
Records related to training sessions conducted by the Commission’s staff including training materials and databases of newspapers in Arkansas.
Rules promulgated by the Commission concerning campaign finance, lobbyist registration and reporting, gifts, and proceedings before the Commission.
Records related to the administration of the Commission’s office, including (i) lease agreements: office space and equipment; (ii) financial records: budget information, payroll records, and invoices; (iii) employee records: personnel files, time sheets, and leave requests; and (iv) records relating to office equipment: inventories, meter readings of copiers and postage equipment, etc.
Ark. Code Ann. § 7-6-218(b)(3)(B) contains a
statutory exemption which affects FOIA requests to the Ethics Commission. Under
that exemption, the Commission is required to keep all proceedings, records, and
transcripts of any investigations or inquiries confidential unless (i) the
respondent requests disclosure of documents, (ii) a public hearing is held in
accordance with Ark. Code Ann. § 7-6-218(b)(2), or (iii) judicial review of a
Commission decision is sought pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 25-15-212. Ark. Code
Ann. §7-6-218(b)(3)(C) provides that all records relevant to an investigation
and upon which the Commission has based its decision shall become open to public
inspection thirty (30) days after any final adjudication in which the Commission
makes a finding of a violation.
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