Arkansas governor says lawmaker should resign or be ousted

Arkansas governor says lawmaker should resign or be ousted
pic of Arkansas State Capitol Building (Source: KAIT-TV)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' governor says a lawmaker who pleaded no contest to not paying state income taxes should be removed from office if he doesn't resign.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday repeated his call for Rep. Mickey Gates to resign but added the legislator should be removed from office if he doesn't leave voluntarily. Gates entered the plea in Garland County on Monday and was ordered to serve six years' probation and repay thousands to the state.

Gates was arrested last year and charged with not filing state tax returns from 2012 through 2017.

Hutchinson’s comments came a day after the House speaker said Gates should resign and wouldn’t close the door on seeking the lawmaker’s removal. Gates has said he won’t resign. Hutchinson first called for Gates’ resignation after his arrest last year.