by Lee Hogan
Posted 4/2/2014 10:28 am
Updated 4 months ago
In a one-line statement Wednesday morning, the University of Central Arkansas announced Gilbert Baker had resigned from his university position, effective immediately.
The former state legislator's resignation comes the same day an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article reported that a former paid consultant for Baker said he knew nothing of a political action committee — that is now one of several in the midst of an investigation into Circuit Judge Mike Maggio — that lists him as an officer.
Don Thomas of Conway was asked about the PACs, one of which is named Thomas Group In PAC and lists him as an officer.
Another committee, the Taxpayers for Change PAC, also lists Thomas as an officer.
Thomas is a former paid political consultant to former state Sen. Gilbert Baker, a Conway Republican who has an office near Thomas' office in Conway's Tyler Plaza.
"I have no idea… what you're talking about," Thomas said when asked about the committees. "I really don't know anything about it."
Maggio, who has had his cases reassigned, is now under investigation by the Arkansas Ethics Commission and the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for the PAC contributions he received.
Baker was hired as an executive assistant to UCA President Tom Courtway in 2012. His salary was $132,000. In addition to other job responsibilities, Baker was in charge of government relations.
No reason for Baker's resignation was included in the university statement. UCA referred questions about the resignation to Courtway, who was traveling today and couldn't comment.