Did Matthew Shepherd scold Asa’s paid consultant, Rett Hatcher, over slippery ethical behavior?

The Governor’s hand-picked aide on the Board of Apportionment, Rett Hatcher, came under fire with Arleg leadership for allegedly abusing his role in the map-making process. We have received more reports that Hatcher was bragging about drawing political foes out of their districts—or at least making it as difficult as possible for them to win re-election. The problem? Some legislators pay Hatcher and his business, Capitol Consulting Firm, to consult on their campaigns. 

Readers may also recall when we reported on whispers around the Capitol that Hatcher was unethically using his role as Asa’s hand-picked insider to secure votes during the recent legislative session. Specifically, multiple sources are reporting that Hatcher had a habit of showing legislators their potential district lines while discussing votes on issues he was paid to lobby for or against. 

Since we published our previous article, other sources have indicated to us that it was Speaker of the House Matthew Shepherd that scolded Hatcher for his greasy attempts.

If Hatcher’s actions warranted a reprimand by Speaker Shepherd, we think the taxpayers of Arkansas deserve to know.

  1. Did Speaker Shepherd report Hatcher’s actions to Betty Dickey, Chairperson of the Maps Commission?

  2. Did Speaker Shepherd report the incident to the Governor, to whom Hatcher reports?

  3. Did Speaker Shepherd report this incident to the Arkansas Ethics Commission?

We would wager if each member of the General Assembly was surveyed about Hatcher’s slippery ways, a surprising number would disclose that they had in fact been on the receiving end of his unethical behavior.

If you are aware of any such behavior, reach out to On AR Watch. The people of Arkansas deserve an honest and transparent map-making process. Not back room hall passes.