LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The state ethics commission responds to the arrest of chairman Paul Dumas, after meeting for the first time since Dumas was cited for domestic battery a month ago.
According to a Morrilton police report, a passerby saw Susan Dumas bleeding heavily from her face on May 16 and called it in to Morrilton police. When authorities arrived around 9 a.m., they found the woman on the front porch bleeding.
Later, they found Paul Dumas upstairs, arrested him, and took him to jail. Susan Dumas told police her husband hit her after the two got into an argument, and she says she slapped sunglasses from his face.
Police cited Dumas for misdemeanor domestic battery, but the prosecutor declined to file charges per Susan Dumas' request. That's according to Morrilton City Attorney Bart Virden. Virden works in the same law office as Dumas' attorney, Ben Caruth.
Friday, the ethics commission met for the first time since the incident.
Today's THV asked the director of the commission, Graham Sloan, if the group is concerned about what happened.
"Well I guess whether the commission itself is concerned that would be the board members themselves to be the one to answer that. From staff perspective you're asking me about a family matter that didn't really have anything to do with the commission itself or our operations," says Sloan.
Sloan said the board does not have the authority to take action on the status of Dumas as chairman. He says each member of the board has an appointing official, and former Senate Pro Tem Bob Johnson appointed Dumas. Senator Paul Bookout currently holds this seat, and has not returned our phone calls.
According to Commissioner Billy Bird, Chairman Dumas has not missed three consecutive meetings. Dumas did not attend Friday's meeting and was also absent from the commission's May meeting.
The commission is deciding how to document abscences as excused or unexcused. This recommendation came after a legislative audit. The commission discussed what criteria applies to excused and unexcused abscences. Bird says the group does not have a problem with absenteeism and working on the absenteeism policy is not in response to Chairman Dumas abscence.