- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A Benton attorney has recused himself from representing Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan in a potential ethics complaint investigation, citing a conflict of interest.

Attorney Jonathan Camp confirmed in an email sent late Tuesday that he is no longer representing Milligan. He noted a conflict of interest, but did not describe the issue.

Attorney and blogger Matt Campbell filed a lengthy complaint against Milligan last week in which he cited 14 examples of what he alleged were campaign finance irregularities or the misuse of public resources. The Arkansas Ethics Commission does not comment on whether complaints have been received or are being investigated.

Grant Wallace, a treasurer’s office spokesman and former Milligan campaign volunteer, said Milligan was still searching for a new attorney as of early Wednesday afternoon.

Wallace, who responded in his campaign capacity, said the conflict entailed Camp representing a relative of someone who may be called as a witness in the potential ethics investigation.

“The treasurer is still looking and hasn’t made a decision on a new attorney,” Wallace said early Wednesday afternoon.

The recusal marks the second time that Milligan has been sent looking for another attorney because of a conflict of interest.

Milligan and his chief of staff, Jim Harris, hired attorney Byron Freeland in early July to represent them in a separate defamation lawsuit after the attorney general’s office sent a letter saying a potential conflict of interest prevented its attorneys from representing the constitutional office in the matter.

The lawsuit filed by former treasurer’s office Outreach Manager David Singer, alleges that Harris made defamatory remarks about Singer’s mental health and other topics in an email to another staff member. Singer alleges that the remarks damaged his reputation when the email from Harris was released to reporters under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The recusal letter from the attorney general’s office does not cite the specific conflict of interest. But Freeland has since said in court that treasurer’s office staff sought counsel from the office before releasing the emails to reporters.

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