Arkansas House speaker to resign, take position at UCA


Photographs by AP

Arkansas House Speaker Rep. Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, speaks at a meeting of the Political Animals Club in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia is resigning from the state House of Representatives, effective June 15, to start work as the University of Central Arkansas’ director of governmental affairs and external relations.

Gillam will be paid an annual salary of $130,000 a year at the University of Central Affairs, the Conway-based school said.

He has served in the House of Representatives since 2011 and as House speaker since 2015. He said he and his brother recently sold their berry farm.

Gillam said the House will caucus on June 15 to determine his successor and he hopes the House promotes House Speaker-designate Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, to the House speaker position.

“It is bittersweet to leave, but I am excited about the new opportunity,” he said.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


RBear says...

From legislator to lobbyist for a state supported school. Hmm. Washington has rules regarding this, but most states do not have any rules to govern the "revolvers."

Posted 6 June 2018, 11:11 a.m. Suggest removal

OldGuard says...

Not to mention semi-automatics.

Posted 6 June 2018, 1:05 p.m. Suggest removal

hurricane46 says...

Now if we can just get RAPErt to resign to take a position with the sanitation dept.

Posted 6 June 2018, 1:11 p.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

Here's the rule, RBear, and it looks like Gillam taking the UCA job at this time is illegal. Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, Section 10 says: "No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office under this State." That has traditionally been interpreted as banning legislators from holding most Arkansas government jobs "during the term for which he shall have been elected"; resignation does NOT remove this disability. He can't take ANY state or local government job, except possibly a school district job (there seems to be an exception for that elsewhere in the Constitution), until his term ends in January.

Posted 6 June 2018, 2 p.m. Suggest removal

IMHO says...

Does that apply to state-assisted universities run by boatds of trustees? I doubt it.

Posted 6 June 2018, 2:35 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneralMac says...

RBBrittan.............I doubt the UCA job is considered a "government job"

Do you think he never checked ramifications of taking it and needed some peon posting at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette to inform him it was illegal ?

Posted 6 June 2018, 2:59 p.m. Suggest removal

JMort69 says...

Well,well one of the so-called "leaders" in our legislature is bailing after allowing one of the biggest scandals in our history to go on during his time at the helm. And, he announced just one day before the lobbyist at the top of all the scandals, Rusty Cranford, is changing his plea from not guilty. Coincidence, I think not. Gillam is also the one who appointed Travis Story to the medcial marijuana commission. Story has messed that up for those of us who need it as well. So, the damage is done and now the diseased rats are leaving the sinking ship. And, after allowing all the graft and corruption under his nose for years, I feel certain Speaker Gillam feels that he is exempt from all laws, including those regarding lobbying. Seems like UCA, for such a "Christian" place has sure had a lot of scandals in recent years. I guess Gillam can teach them how to get by without getting caught. My most sincere hope is that all the crooks in our legislature are caught, but this is a good start. Arkansans had better understand that just because someone is in your petty politicial club, be it an ass or an elephant, doesn't mean they are worthy to serve we the people. Each person should have to stand on their own merit and you had better do some research before voting. It is we who elected all the crooks that are now being found out and it is up to us to stop the corruption by not electing them to begin with. Party takes a back seat to honesty.

Posted 6 June 2018, 4:20 p.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

The constitutional ban has specifically been applied to board of trustee appointments to state universities like UCA. A lot of legislators (IIRC including Joyce Elliott but I may be wrong) got caught in this provision a few years back, including at least one who took a job at UALR only to give it up. State universities are still state agencies in Arkansas; remember the Andrews decision on sovereign immunity involved the UofA System.

Posted 6 June 2018, 4:37 p.m. Suggest removal

dunk7474 says...

Does Arkansas have ANY people in elected office that are not crooks?? Just a gang with another name who steal whenever they can. As Truman said "The buck stops here". So Asa, why not give the people what they voted for instead of deciding for yourself what they get. As a leader, you are severely lacking.

Posted 6 June 2018, 5:16 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

If I remember correctly, Joyce Elliott took the job at UALR while continuing in her elected position.

Posted 6 June 2018, 5:54 p.m. Suggest removal

IMHO says...

There's also the possibility that his salary will come from foundation money (private dollars). Not defending, just speculating.

Posted 6 June 2018, 6:11 p.m. Suggest removal

JMort69 says...

Well, Dunk, it certainly doesn't feel like it right now. I am a native Arkansan and have lived here all but 5 of my 67 years, as has my mother who is 87. Neither of us have seen anything like this in our state, in our lives. The most repulsive part of this is how religious they all are. Cloaking their crimes and misdeeds in righteous robes and defaming my mother's religion. And yet, only 18% of the registered voters in our state bothered to show up for the primaries. Maybe its just me, but I'm really incensed by the rampant corruption and stealing my tax dollars. Far more incensed by why Gillam is quitting than by his next job. People don't seem to get the fact that much of these resignations and decisions not to run are related to larger schemes, not just another job. So no Dunk, it ain't pretty right now and its our fault. Until more than 18% of us show up, the crooks will win.

Posted 6 June 2018, 6:23 p.m. Suggest removal

3WorldState1 says...

Well said. Anytime you get one party with this much control, this is bound to happen.

Posted 6 June 2018, 7:39 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

Jmort...you have put it as succinctly as I have ever seen it put!

Posted 6 June 2018, 7:53 p.m. Suggest removal

RBBrittain says...

@NUN: I thought it was Joyce Elliott who took the UALR job, only to give it up when the media pointed out the Constitution to her. (Which only goes to show both sides can get it wrong.)
@IMHO: That won't work unless he's employed BY the foundation.

Posted 6 June 2018, 9:44 p.m. Suggest removal

Log in to comment