A federal judge has upheld the corruption conviction of Arkansas' former treasurer, rejecting her request to have the case heard by state authorities. Lawyers for Martha Shoffner said the Arkansas Ethics Commission - not federal jurors - should have addressed claims that she accepted $36,000 from a bond broker who did business with the state. A federal jury convicted Shoffner on March 11. The defense team said the federal government wasn't harmed by Shoffner's actions and wanted U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to dismiss the charges against her. Holmes decided Tuesday that it was proper for the case to land in federal court. He said he had no authority to set aside the jury's verdict simply because the case might have been better suited for state courts.
Another Arkansas judge has been ruled eligible for office after his candidacy was challenged because of a temporary license suspension. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Tuesday that Circuit Judge H.G. Foster is eligible for the ballot. Foster's candidacy had been challenged because his license was temporarily suspended because of late payment of annual dues. State law says a person must be a licensed attorney for six years to be eligible for a judgeship.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision tossing out a $1.2 billion judgment against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson over the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
McDaniel on Monday filed a petition for rehearing over the high court's decision last month that the state misapplied the Medicaid fraud law in its suit against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc.
A federal judge is delaying until December the trial of former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner on charges that she used campaign funds for clothing, cosmetics and other personal items.
U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Thursday granted Shoffner's motion to continue her trial on 10 counts of mail fraud, which had originally been scheduled for March 31. The trial is now set to begin Dec. 1.
Former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who resigned last year after an FBI investigation alleged she had been accepting bribes, was presented with new charges late Thursday afternoon. A federal grand jury is charging Shoffner with ten counts of mail fraud related to the misuse of campaign funds.
These latest allegations are in addition to six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion, and seven counts of receiving bribes - contained in pie boxes.