Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he just was trying to honor nearly 200 North Little Rock, Arkansas, officers and their families when he provided tickets to a Cowboys game and travel accommodations during the 2016 season. The trip was valued at more than $300,000 according to the Dallas Morning News. And because of a complaint filed by an Arkansas blogger who monitors local government activities, Jones, who is from Arkansas, was found to have committed an unintentional ethics violation.
Details via the Morning News:
Jones made a personal appearance to defend his gift, reportedly saying that he didn't view the gifts as a reward for police work but to send a positive message of the work police volunteer to do when they're not on duty. Jones reportedly felt so strongly about it that he refused to accept a settlement in the matter.
THV11.com in Little Rock reports that Sgt. Michael Gibbons, president of the North Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police, agreed with the findings of the Arkansas Ethics Commission that he and other officers violated the law by accepting Jones' gift, but Gibbons won't be sanctioned "based upon a showing of 'good cause.'"
More via THV11.com:
The commission concluded that Jones' gift to the officers was to "show appreciation to North Little Rock Police Officers for their work and outreach programs for children" and that officers "relied upon the resolution's erroneous conclusion that your acceptance of the gifts outside the scope" of the law.
The Little Rock City Council passed a resolution declaring the gifts official compensation. And for his trouble, Jones will receive a letter of warning for his offense. Meanwhile, in a subsequent post, the blogger who filed the original complaint wrote that he never wanted to punish the officers who accepted the gift from Jones.