Candidates Return Donations Made by State Ethics Commissioner

JANUARY 19, 2006 - Posted at 8:11 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Two Democratic candidates for state offices have returned donations made to their campaigns by Arkansas Ethics Commissioner Hershel Cleveland, who is barred by state law from making such donations.

Cleveland, of Paris, is a former Arkansas House Speaker.  He gave $500 to gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Mike Beebe and $250 to Mike Hathorn of Huntsville, who is running for lieutenant governor.  Commissioners are not allowed to contribute to candidates who are running for state or local offices.

Cleveland, a Democrat, says he made an honest mistake.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)