Republican state House candidate fined for violating reporting laws


LITTLE ROCK — The state Ethics Commission on Tuesday ordered a Republican state House candidate to pay a $150 fine and issued a public letter of caution to him for failing to file required reports in past campaigns.

Ronnie Spence of Paragould, who is challenging incumbent state Rep. Mary Broadaway, D-Paragould, for the District 57 House seat, agreed Monday to a settlement offered by the commission, Director Graham Sloan said.

The commission found probable cause for findings that Spence failed to file a statement of financial interest in 2011 when he was an unsuccessful independent candidate for the District 57 seat; failed to file monthly campaigns finance reports for March and September of 2012 and a final report during the same campaign; and failed to file a carry-over fund report after his 2010 unsuccessful campaign as an independent candidate for what was then District 78.

Greene County Democratic Party Vice Chairman Marvin Exum slammed Spence in a news release Tuesday, saying that Spence “thought he was above the law” and that “Northeast Arkansas voters are sick and tired of dishonesty and it’s clear they can’t trust Ronnie Spence.”

Spence did not immediately respond Tuesday to an attempt to contact him through his campaign’s Facebook page.