Lawmaker Tarr cited for ethics violations
An Anchorage lawmaker on Wednesday was cited for using government resources for non-legislative purposes.
A House Subcommittee on Legislative Ethics released a report citing Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) for the ethics violation but declined to issue any punishment.
The committee found Tarr instructed legislative staff to help organizers for the Mountain View Street Fair last summer. Tarr and other staff members performed similar tasks related to the event, according to the report. However, it was done on government time.
The committee ruled that Tarr illegally used state resources for non-legislative functions. The committee says it was also done for the private benefit of others, in this case, the fair organizers.
"Regardless of intent, the committee recognizes the fact that substantial state resources from the office of Representative Geran Tarr were used to organize and plan the Mountain View Street Fair event," according to the panel’s report.
In a statement Tarr wrote:
“The committee’s recommendation of no corrective action appears to reflect their understanding that my staff and I were acting in good faith, without any intent to violate the ethics rules. I will ensure that my office works closely with the Committee staff in the future.
“While I believe the determination significantly overestimates the resources my office contributed and incorrectly implies that we a had a more direct role in fundraising for the event than we did, there is no question that we were actively involved in putting this event together.”
Earlier this year, the ethics committee removed Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) from its own ranks after finding that he had improperly disclosed the existence of a confidential complaint. Eastman responded by seeking a formal hearing on the matter.
Liz Raines contributed information to this story.
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