Monday, November 8, 2010

Arkansas Poultry Industry Donations Won't Influence Pruitt, Spokeswoman Says

Campaign donations from Arkansas poultry interests to Attorney General-elect Scott Pruitt already are turning controversial.

That's apparent in a story by The Associated Press today, which relates that Governor-elect Mary Fallin plans to review a pending environmental lawsuit filed against several Arkansas poultry companies.

Outgoing Attorney General Drew Edmondson sued 11 companies, including Tyson Foods and Cargill Inc., alleging that chicken manure from their facilities polluted the 1 million-acre Illinois River watershed, which straddles Oklahoma and Arkansas. Testimony wrapped up earlier this year, but the judge has yet to rule.

Fallin's spokesman, Alex Weintz, said the federal lawsuit was one of many legal matters Fallin will assess when she takes office. He said poultry farmers had expressed concern about the fairness of the case, but Fallin "hasn't said if the lawsuit is proper or improper." "She just said she would review it," he said.

Pruitt also will review the case. Pruitt was criticized by his opponent in the election for accepting campaign donations from employees of some of the companies named in the suit. A spokeswoman for Pruitt said that would have nothing to do with the review.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

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