Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Given a Warning for Giving Gifts to North Little Rock Officers

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave improper gifts to North Little Rock police officers but will be given a warning for the violation of Arkansas ethics laws since it was the first violation, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Jones went to high school in North Little Rock, where he was a running back, before going on to play football at Arkansas and later owning businesses in the state.

How nice was Jones? Nice to the tune of treating over 100 officers plus friends and family members to Dallas Cowboys games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington late last season and paying for hotel accommodations and travel, at a cost of more than $300,000, the Arkansas Times’ Max Brantley reported.

The Arkansas Ethics Commission ruled 3-2 Friday that Jones committed an “unintentional violation” by conferring a gift to North Little Rock police detective Michael Gibbons and other officers, ArkansasOnline.com reported.

Gibbons is president of the North Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police. He and other officers were not sanctioned, according to ArkansasNews.com, since it was a first offense and they are not lobbyists.

The Cowboys owner could have accepted an offer of settlement and agreed to the commission finding but chose to appear before the commission and explain his position.

Russ Racop, who publishes a blog, “Bad Government in Arkansas,” filed the complaint on Nov. 2. He reported on the hearing.

The North Little Rock City Council had passed a resolution Oct. 24 accepting the gifts and passing them along to the officers as an employees benefit, ArkansasOnline.com reported. (The Ethics Commission dismissed Racop’s complaint against the North Little Rock mayor and council members.)

In the hearing, it was noted that “Jones provided the tickets, travel and accommodations to show his appreciation to NLRPD officers.”

And, “there was no evidence that anything was exchanged for the gift nor was anything expected.”

Jones made it clear he wasn’t helping the officers for their “day job,” but for their off-duty volunteer work in helping children in programs such as a police athletic league.

The Cowboys owner, according to Racop’s blog report, gave an “emotional appeal” to the Ethics Commission.

“Holding back tears, with trembling hands,” Jones said he was moved to do something for NLRPD officers after seeing a story on CNN touting good works done by officers.


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