Local & Regional News
1:25 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Ouachita County Judge Resigns Amid Federal Bribery Charges

Ouachita County Judge Mike Hesterly - who is facing federal bribery and conspiracy charges - has announced plans to resign.

Hesterly said in a letter of resignation that he will resign April 3 because of "health problems, current circumstances and other concerns."

Hesterly and contractor Harry Clemons Jr. of Bearden were charged in January with conspiring to award a federal disaster-relief grant to Clemons to clean up debris following two tornadoes in 2009 in exchange for Clemons making a contribution to Hesterly's re-election campaign.

Both men initially pleaded not guilty, but Clemons changed his plea to guilty on March 18 and is awaiting sentencing.

Hesterly is scheduled to go to trial starting April 7 but has asked for a delay.