Gov. Mike Beebe on Wednesday appointed Charles Robinson, who served 28 years as Legislative Auditor for the state, as Arkansas State Treasurer.
Robinson replaces Martha Shoffner, who resigned last week after her arrest by federal officials on charges of political corruption and allegations that she accepted at least $36,000 from a bond dealer doing business with her office.
Robinson came out of retirement to accept the governor's call and will serve the remaining 19 months of Shoffner's term. He will be sworn in as treasurer at 1 p.m. in the Arkansas Supreme Court chamber. He is not eligible to run for the office.
"He is everything I can ask for as a manager," Beebe said. "He knows how to lead people and listen to people."
Robinson said he would make sure the treasurer's office is being run fairly and effectively, and that he would meet with each staffer to establish a good working relationship.
"I want the treasurer's office to be what everyone expects it to be," he said, adding, "I think I'm apolitical, and I'm too old to change."
Asked how she's likes her new boss, Autumn Sanson, the treasurer’s chief investment officer, said, "I'm excited."
Sanson was among a small group of treasurer's office employees who attended the news conference.
Sanson testified in September before the Legislative Joint Audit Committee, which was investigating bond trades in the treasurers' office. She once said she feared for her job after offering testimony that contradicted Shoffner.
Back to Work
Robinson worked for 34 years in the Division of Legislative Audit, serving 28 years as the legislative auditor before retiring in 2007. On Wednesday, the 66-year-old said the governor persuaded him to do something he hadn't planned, "which is to go back to work."
Robinson underscored his retirement mindset by noting that he had pared his wardrobe to one suit for formal occasions, which he was sporting at the news conference. He indicated that he would be visiting men's stores around town as a customer to expand his clothing choices.
Robinson is a native of Harrison who received an accounting degree from Arkansas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Arkansas. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Also Wednesday, the Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan officially announced that he's running for state treasurer.
Milligan is a Republican and the first candidate to announce for the 2014 race.