Bookout repays $31,000 to campaign contributors

Bookout repays $31,000 to campaign contributors

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Even though the Arkansas Ethics Commission did not order him to do so, former State Senator Paul Bookout of Jonesboro is returning campaign donations to contributors.

According to an amended campaign contribution and expenditure report filed with the Secretary of State's office, Bookout has returned $33,189 in contributions.

Fowler Foods, Atlas Asphalt, BDSM Investments, Cache River Valley Seed, and Southern Marketing Affiliates were among those receiving $1,220 in returned contributions.

Bookout resigned office in August 2013 after an investigation by the ethics commission revealed he had spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use, including clothing for his family.

The records revealed Bookout deposited thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to his personal account, then wrote checks for thousands more to Steamroller Blues, Best Buy, Gearhead Outfitters, and his church.

The commission ordered Bookout to pay $12,000 in fines for misusing campaign funds. The commission also issued a public letter of reprimand stating Bookout had "violated the law" and conducted activity that "falls below the standards expected of public officials."

Following his resignation, Bookout said he would reimburse his campaign $49,000 and repay contributors.

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