LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — The office of the Arkansas governor on Friday reaffirmed his decision to pardon his son in a felony marijuana case amid complaints that he is showing favoritism.

Mike Beebe, who leaves office in January because of term limits, said this week his next round of intended pardons, due in December, would include one for his son Kyle, who was convicted in 2003 of felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver.

The state Parole Board, whose members were all appointed by Beebe, has said Kyle Beebe, 34, did not receive any special treatment by the board while his application was pending.

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor's office had received dozens of comments since the governor announced his plan. "Some say it's a good start (toward pardoning all non-violent drug offenders) and others say he is abusing his power to provide a benefit to his family," DeCample said.

Beebe's office has a policy of not releasing constituent correspondence under a working papers exemption from a federal public records law.

Beebe has pardoned more than 700 people since taking office eight years ago, and at an increasing pace as the end of his term nears. He has announced pardons for 81 people in the last six months, and 50 in the six months before that. Half the pardons have gone to nonviolent drug offenders with cases similar to Kyle Beebe's.

Kyle Beebe, who served three years' probation and paid $1,150 in fines and court costs for his conviction, applied for a pardon in June. His application included a letter asking his father for forgiveness, addressing him as "Dear Governor."

The Parole Board, after hearing from the White County Sheriff's Department that it was "OK" with the request, recommended a pardon in October. Arkansas governors announce intended pardons or commutations with a 30-day comment period. If Beebe formally notifies the public of his intent to pardon his son next month, the process would have taken about six months.

Solomon Graves, a spokesman for the state Parole Board, said most pardon requests are processed within 12-18 months, but the time can vary.

Beebe, a Democrat, will leave office about 30 days after his next set of pardons are expected. A spokesman for Republican Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman who headed the Drug Enforcement Administration under former President George W. Bush, said it was unlikely the new governor would weigh in.

Kyle Beebe was arrested March 28, 2003, after his girlfriend called deputies to complain he had pushed her. Deputies found more than an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana in a plastic bag. Kyle Beebe's application for a pardon said he had previously been convicted for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.