NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Dustin McDaniel publicly apologized Tuesday for an extramarital relationship with a Hot Springs attorney, but he denied that any litigation by his office was compromised or ethics rules violated.
McDaniel addressed the media for the first time since acknowledging an "inappropriate" relationship with attorney Andrea L. Davis. McDaniel, who has been married since 2009, admitted to the relationship in a statement issued by his campaign on Dec. 18.
"I allowed a lapse of character and judgment to hurt my family, my friends and my reputation," McDaniel told reporters in a 28-minute press conference. "For that I am deeply ashamed and very sorry."
McDaniel offered few details on the relationship with Davis, who handled five cases that were defended by the attorney general's office. He said the relationship did not compromise any of the cases and said he has not had any other affairs.
"There is no other shoe to drop," McDaniel said. "There are no other women. There is no litigation that was ever compromised. No rules of professional conduct were ever violated. No state resources, dollars or personnel were used for personal purposes. I made a personal mistake, for which I have taken and continue to take responsibility, but it had no impact on my job."
McDaniel's wife, Bobbi, attended Tuesday's news conference but did not stand with him or speak at the event.
McDaniel is the only announced Democratic candidate in the 2014 governor's race. He said Tuesday he is committed to moving forward with his campaign for the office.
He has been married since 2009. He said last month he met Davis during his 2010 re-election bid and said in 2011 they had "limited interaction, some of which was inappropriate."
McDaniel admitted to the relationship after Davis' ex-husband alleged a sexual affair between the two in court papers filed in a custody battle.
Davis was the opposing counsel in five cases handled by McDaniel's office, including a school choice lawsuit the state lost. McDaniel said his staff had no knowledge of his interaction with Davis, and said it did not affect the cases.