Mark Myers at the secretary of state’s office says Alex Reed is no longer on leave but back working as internal communications director. He’d been responsible for external communications, but the job shifted after he got involved in controversy back in April.
Efforts to get any further information about Reed and other office matters have, so far, been fruitless. Myers doesn’t like my questions. Too suggestive that I’ll be critical, he has told me.
Since Secretary of State Mark Martin is at the top of the election process in Arkansas, I think he owes the public some comment about the Reed matter. Although Martin is on the ballot this year, Reed took an appointment to the Pulaski County Election Commission, which oversees an election in which Martin will be a candidate. Reed also took the appointment though he had been treasurer of Ann Clemmer’s campaign for Congress, another race on the Pulaski ballot. Reed has since resigned. He’s also been accused of taking Clemmer campaign money for his own use. The money has been paid back, but the matter has been reported to the Federal Election Commission, which is looking into it.
Reed remains employed by Secretary of State Martin. Myers said Martin will not comment further on the personnel matter. But it is more than personnel, it’s an issue that bears on Martin’s stewardship of his office and his and his staff’s competency in overseeing election matters.
I asked Myers for the date Reed went back to work. He referred that question to Reed’s successor. No response so far. I’ve also asked for examples of Reed’s work product as internal communications director. Nothing has been provided so far. I’ve also asked for some examples of Mark Martin’s work product and any record of his office attendance. No response so far. I’ve asked for any record of Martin having a public press availability since he took office. No response so far. The same for a request for time sheets for another particular office employee whose whereabouts a reader questioned.
Perhaps a less critical reporter could get a response to these questions. If they asked nicely.
PS — I will repeat for the record my experience that Alex Reed worked hard and efficiently in his previous job handling external press matters. He always responded quickly and completely to requests for public record information, including sometimes after hours.