Attorney General Steve Clark was spared jail time after his conviction for using his state credit card to boost his brief run for governor and sagging personal finances.
Clark was fined $10,000 Thursday after the jury convicted him of felony theft by deception."I think it's important that Steve Clark as attorney general was treated like any other person in the system," prosecutor Chris Piazza said after the verdict was announced.
"Obviously, I'm very disappointed," said Clark, 43. "As I've said all along, it was never my intention to defraud or deceive."
Defense attorney Bill Bristow said an appeal was likely.
Jurors convicted Clark of a less severe crime than the one prosecutors filed against him, deciding the theft amounted to less than $2,500 but more than $200. He had been charged with stealing more than $2,500.
Clark said he would make a decision whether to resign his office within 24 hours. Bristow scheduled an afternoon news conference to answer questions about Clark's future.
Todd McCall, spokesman for the attorney general's office, said the state constitution requires Clark to resign because of his felony conviction.
McCall would not comment on whether Clark could remain in office if he appeals the verdict.
Jurors deliberated for just over four hours before arriving at the verdict. Circuit Judge Perry V. Whitmore followed the jury's sentencing recommendation by fining Clark and sparing him jail time.
"I didn't want to see the man go to prison," said juror Brenda Beall, 27, of North Little Rock. "He has suffered enough, but we didn't want him to get away with taking our money - your money, my money."