Sheriff cited for ethics violation

The Arkansas Ethics Commission has cited Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson for using an office or room furnished at public expense to distribute tickets to a campaign fundraiser, according to a letter from the commission to Robinson dated June 4.

“The Commission is hereby issuing you this public letter of caution, which is advisory in nature and serves to give clear notice that your actions violated the law,” the letter said in part. “You are advised not to engage in the same activity again.”

Robinson was also fined $100, which will be due by June 30, and signed a written offer of settlement of the complaint, which was filed by James Murry, who filed as an independent candidate for sheriff earlier this year.

According to the complaint, which was filed March 5, Robinson “distributed his campaign fundraising tickets from his county office and the county office of Chief Deputy Stanley James. Deputies were issued 10 tickets each from the county office during business hours of operation and while officially on duty.”

Murry also alleged in the complaint that Robinson closed the sheriff’s office at 2 p.m. on Feb. 6 so that his office personnel and deputies could attend his fundraiser at Hestand’s Stadium from 5-8 p.m., and “no deputies or office personnel turned in leave slips to attend Sheriff Robinson’s fundraiser while on county time.” Murry also said Robinson and other deputies used county patrol vehicles while on county time to attend the fundraiser.

Because Robinson signed a settlement offer, those allegations were not included in the final disciplinary action.

Robinson has referred all questions about the complaint to his attorney Greg Robinson, who could not be reached for comment.