Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (Photo: Daniel Wilkerson, KTHV)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas' Attorney General Dustin McDaniel addressed media on Tuesday. He discussed his recent admission that he had an "inappropriate relationship" with a Hot Springs attorney, Andrea L. Davis.
The following is verbatim of the speech he delivered:
"Good morning. I called this press conference so that I can address the personal issues I acknowledged publicly just before Christmas.
Before I begin, I want to thank and publicly apologize to my wife, Bobbi. She is an amazing and wonderful woman who has done nothing to deserve the pain I Have caused her. It's only because of her love and forgiveness that I can stand here today.
Bobbi is here with me today but I'll be handling the press conference on my own. This situation is entirely my fault, so I cannot ask her to stand up here simply for the purpose of easing my burden.
I have prayed and continue to pray for God's forgiveness and grace. I also renew today my apology to the people of Arkansas who have issues that demand attention rather than distractions of my creation.
I want to use this morning to be clear about what I have done wrong, and equally clear about what I have not done wrong. I continue to hear that rumors are swirling about whether some other shoe will drop. There is no other shoe to drop. There are no other women. No litigation was ever compromised. No rules of professional conduct were violated. No state resources, dollars or personnel were used for personal purposes. I made a personal mistake, for which I have taken and continue to take responsibility, but it had no impact on my job or the work done by the very competent and capable staff of the Attorney General's Office.
As I have said, I met Ms. Davis through politics in 2010. In 2011, we had limited interaction, some of which was inappropriate. To this day, including public events, Ms. Davis and I have been in one another's presence less than half a dozen times. The responsibility for this falls entirely on me. I was married, she was not. I was the one in a position of public trust.
I allowed a lapse of character and judgment to hurt my family, my friends, and my reputation. For that, I am deeply ashamed, and I am very sorry. I have been candid with my wife and forthcoming with the public. However, I do not intend to get into details on something that is painful and hard enough for any marriage to endure. I accept the responsibility of my mistake, but I believe some measure of privacy is important, even for elected officials, and certainly for our families.
I would like to address the issues related to litigation in which Ms. Davis represented parties who were adverse to the state. At no time have I violated any rule of professional conduct. More importantly, I have never abused or violated the trust of my office. The Attorney General's Office record of integrity and professionalism is impeccable, and that includes all matters involving Ms. Davis.
The Attorney General's Office routinely deals with attorneys from across Arkansas, including Ms. Davis. According to our records, since 2010, she represented five clients whose interests were adverse to the state. Those cases included two criminal matters, a consumer case, a veterinarian with disputes with the Veterinary Board and the School Choice case. I want to stress that the state prevailed in every matter in which our office opposed Ms. Davis, including School Choice in 2010. And when the state did lose the School Choice argument in 2012, sh e was no longer the attorney our office dealt with in the case nor was she the opposing counsel at the hearing.
My staff had no knowledge of my personal interaction with Ms. Davis, and it had no bearing on how our office handled the cases involving her. I am proud of the exceptional work our staff does everyday protecting the people of Arkansas.
I have released communications between myself and Ms. Davis on these cases, as well as the interactions of my office with her on the Circuit Court order related to her custody case. I shared information including emails, travel records and office phone records with members of the media in order to demonstrate that no impropriety occurred.
I also want to address questions that have been raised about the death of Maxwell Anderson. First, I have never communicated with Ms. Davis or anyone else about the facts of circumstances surrounding Mr. Anderson's death. I have no knowledge of the status of the investigation. The Attorney General's office has no role or jurisdiction in this investigation, and I have never communicated with law enforcement about it. In short, I don't know anything about it.
Lastly, I want to address my candidacy for governor. I have always believed in public service. My desire to make Arkansas a better, safer place for our families is still as strong as ever. You'll see that reflected in my service in the legislature and as Attorney General. I would be honored to lead our state as governor and share my vision for the future. Bobbi and I are very thankful for the steady stream of prayers, support, and encouragement we have received from people all over Arkansas. We are committed to moving forward with my campaign for governor in 2014. I do so humbly recognizing that I need to earn the second chance I'm asking for. I have loved serving the people of Arkansas, and I hope that I'll have the opportunity to continue to do so. Thank you. Now let me open it up for questions."