Ethics Commission Opens Investigation into Michael John Gray

Failure to file reports, personal use of campaign funds are subjects of AEC inquiry

According to a letter received today from the Arkansas Ethics Commission, the Commission is opening an investigation into DPA Chairman Michael John Gray based upon the allegations in my ethics complaint from last week.

Specifically, the Commission’s letter noted three areas of investigation: (1) whether “in his capacity as a candidate for State Representative — District 47 during the 2018 election cycle, Mr. Gray violated Ark. Code Ann. 7-6-207 by failing to file a 10 day preelection report and final C&E report for the 2018 general election;” (2 & 3) whether “in his capacity as a candidate for State Representative — District 47 during the 2018 election cycle, Mr. Gray violated Ark. Code Ann. 7-6-203(f) by taking campaign funds as personal income.”

With respect to the second and third areas of the investigation, the Commission noted that the “do over” provision that was inserted by Sen. Jon Woods as part of “ethics reform” in 2014 may apply if those errors were unintentional. You know…if he unintentionally failed to mention a $5,000 loan to his campaign (despite mentioning other loans) and then, when he amended a bunch of his reports, still failed to mention the loan, even after he’d taken the $5,000 that he simply referred to as a reimbursement of a payment to Jason Willett’s consulting business.1

The first allegation–that he failed to file two mandatory reports–is not eligible for the do-over provision, however, and it seems pretty clear cut. Those reports were required at specific times, and he did not file them. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.2

The Ethics Commission’s full letter is available here.


  1. Sniff…what’s that smell? It’s vaguely reminiscent of cow poop….

  2. Notably, he also failed to file a quarterly report for a PAC that he managed at the same time.