LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Ethics Commission on Friday dismissed complaints against North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith and the North Little Rock City Council over a resolution concerning paid trips to Dallas Cowboys games that were provided to North Little Rock police officers.
Last year, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who grew up in North Little Rock, offered the city’s police officers free travel, accommodations and tickets to any Dallas Cowboys home games for the remainder of the season in appreciation of their service.
Arkansas law prohibits public servants from accepting gifts or compensation other than the regular salary and benefits that come with their position, with some exceptions. In October, the North Little Rock City Council voted 6-0 to approve a resolution that declared Jones’ gifts an employee benefit.
Russ Racop, who operates the blog Bad Government in Arkansas, has filed ethics complaints over the gifts and the resolution. On Friday, the Ethics Commission voted 4-0, with one member not present, to dismiss the complaints concerning the resolution, saying the actions of Smith and the council did not violate Arkansas law.
To date the commission has not announced any final action on Racop’s allegations that the gifts were illegal.