Corruption

Jake Files
Arkansas Times

Former Arkansas state Sen. Jake Files was sentenced Monday to 18 months in federal prison for what the judge called "egregious" violations. The Republican of Fort Smith pleaded guilty in January to charges of wire fraud, money laundering and bank fraud as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation.

An ex-lobbyist has pleaded guilty in a multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe Arkansas lawmakers and embezzle from a Missouri-based nonprofit where he worked.

Rusty Cranford of Rogers, Arkansas, admitted paying bribes to former state Sen. Jon Woods, former state Rep. Henry Wilkins IV and a legislator identified only as "Arkansas Senator A." Outside his lobbying work, Cranford oversaw Springfield, Missouri-based Preferred Family Healthcare's operations in Arkansas.

Jury selection is underway in the trial for a former Arkansas state senator accused in an alleged kickback scheme.

Former Sen. Jon Woods faces 15 fraud charges. Prosecutors accuse of him of taking kickbacks from former Ecclesia College president Oren Paris III in exchange for directing state funding to the college.

Paris pleaded guilty last week to one count of fraud and agreed to testify for prosecutors. Woods' attorney, Patrick Benca, has said his client is innocent and that defense attorneys will prove that, despite Paris' guilty plea.

Michael Maggio
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A former Arkansas judge was ordered to begin serving his 10-year prison sentence after an appeals court upheld his bribery conviction.

Former circuit judge Michael Maggio was ordered Monday to surrender to federal authorities before 2 p.m. Wednesday to begin serving his sentence. The order from U.S. District Judge Brian Miller said an arrest warrant will be issued if Maggio doesn't report to authorities.

The trial of a former Arkansas state senator and two others on corruption charges is being delayed.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that a federal judge in Fayetteville on Tuesday postponed the trial of Republican former Sen. Jon Woods, Ecclesia College President Oren Paris III and consultant Randell Shelton Jr. until Dec. 4. Prosecutors say the investigation continues and more indictments are expected.

The judge also rejected Paris' request that he be tried separately in the case.

Ted Suhl
Nelson Chenault / Arkansas Times

A federal jury convicted a north Arkansas man who owned several mental health facilities on bribery charges late Thursday afternoon. The Arkansas Times reports that after almost five hours of deliberations, Ted Suhl was found guilty of four of six counts for allegedly funneling money to a top official at the Arkansas Department of Human Services in exchange for getting preferential treatment from the state.

Michael Maggio
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A former state judge in Arkansas is asking that probation be considered for his sentence in a bribery case where he admitted to lowering a jury award in a lawsuit in exchange for campaign donations from a nursing home operator.

Attorneys for former Faulkner County Circuit Judge Michael Maggio asked Monday that he be sentenced below the guidelines in the bribery case. Maggio is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday and faces up to 10 years in prison.

A former central Arkansas circuit judge is asking a federal judge to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea on a federal bribery charge, two weeks before he is scheduled to be sentenced.

Attorney James Hensley wrote in a filing Friday that former judge Michael Maggio's previous attorneys had erred in advising him to plead guilty last year to the bribery charge. Hensley says there was no evidence the bribe involved government business as required under the charges.

Ethics Complaints Filed Against Arkansas Treasurer, AG For Assisting Huckabee Campaign

Feb 1, 2016
Leslie rutledge dennis milligan
KATV, Channel 7 News

Little Rock attorney Matthew Campbell has filed ethics complaints against Arkansas State Treasurer Dennis Milligan and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for assisting Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign in Iowa.

In the complaint, it alleges Milligan and Rutledge violated Ark. Code Ann. 7-1-103 by traveling to Iowa and "devoting time during normal business hours to Huckabee's campaign on January 28 or 29, as well as February 1.

In Ark. Code Ann. 7-1-103, it states the following:

Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Ethics Commission has refused to dismiss a complaint against Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan.

The panel met in secret for more than an hour Tuesday to discuss the complaint filed by Little Rock attorney and liberal blogger Matt Campbell last year. He alleges Milligan misused public resources while in his previous office as Saline County circuit clerk and that he hired the spouses of two state legislators without proper approval.

No panel member made a motion to dismiss the complaint, meaning it remains unresolved.

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