Jury Seated, Opening Statements In Martha Shoffner Trial

Mar 5, 2014

Federal prosecutors say former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner corruptly accepted $36,000 in exchange for steering state business to a bond dealer.

But Shoffner's attorney argued in opening statements Wednesday that his client committed nothing more serious than an ethics violation by not reporting the cash.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jana Harris explained to the federal court jury how bond dealer Steele Stephens had twice as much state business as any other dealer and said it was in return for the $36,000.

Defense attorney Chuck Banks said Shoffner was the victim of a political vendetta that led to charges.

Shoffner is charged with extortion and bribery and a 14-count indictment. Trial resumes Thursday at 9 a.m.