LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ House speaker has taken the first step toward removing a lawmaker who pleaded no contest to not paying state income taxes and who has refused to step down.
Speaker Matthew Shepherd on Friday filed a resolution to remove fellow Republican Rep. Mickey Gates, who was arrested last year and charged with not filing returns from 2012 through 2017. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Gates in July pleaded no contest to one count of not filing or paying income taxes.
Shepherd last week said he was seeking Gates’ removal, which will require two-thirds support of the majority-GOP House.
A date has not been set for the House to take up the resolution.
Gates has said he won’t resign and plans to seek re-election next year.