Ex-Senator Paul Bookout Pleads Guilty In Arkansas Federal Court

Mar 11, 2015

Former Sen. Paul Bookout

A former Arkansas state senator has pleaded guilty to a federal mail fraud charge connected to his spending more than $150,000 from a campaign fund.

Paul Bookout of Jonesboro entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors said Bookout spent campaign money on clothing, a sound system, liquor and other personal items while claiming it was going toward legitimate political expenses.

A sentencing hearing is pending. He faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though under sentencing guidelines terms could be much less.

Bookout was elected to the state Senate in 2006 to replace his late father and was re-elected in 2010 and 2012.

The Democrat stepped down in 2013 after the Arkansas Ethics Commission fined him for improperly spending campaign money. He declined comment.