Skip to comments.Federal jury convicts former Arkansas treasurer
Posted on 03/11/2014 5:45:47 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
A jury convicted former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner of federal bribery and extortion charges Tuesday, saying her acceptance of $36,000 from a bond trader who did business with the state was a felony rather than just a lapse in ethical judgment.
Shoffner wept quietly at the defense table before the jurors, who deliberated for about three hours, returned to the courtroom. But the former Democratic official regained her composure and showed no reaction as U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes read the 14 consecutive guilty verdicts.
Shoffner was arrested in May when FBI agents raided her home in Newport, finding $6,000 that was delivered in a pie box by bond dealer Steele Stephens after he began cooperating with authorities. That cash had been supplied by the FBI, though Stephens testified that he'd made a series of $6,000 payments with his own money, totaling $36,000 that he gave in exchange for getting more state bond business.
Prosecutors showed that Stephens had twice as much state bond business as any of the other 10 or so dealers approved to do business with the treasurer's office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti told jurors in her closing arguments that the case before them was simple: Shoffner accepted money from the broker and let him control a larger share of the state's bond portfolio.
Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris called Tuesday's verdict sad but dismissed the defense's notion that it was only an ethics violation.
"It's an ethics problem and a criminal problem," Harris said. "She took the money."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Somebody at Yahoo “news” is about to be unemployed.....
Started counting at the top and about fell out of my chair when D party affiliation was mentioned so soon.
Must have just slipped thru
A welcome rarity to see Dem party affiliation listed without trying to bury it about 26 paragraphs in (or leaving it out entirely).
And kudos to the jury for finding her guilty.
Heck I didn’t know you could get a state contract without doing this.
Which is why I’ve never had one.
former Democratic official
Little Rock NPR reporter said that the deliberation would take forever because the case was so complex -- even though there was film of the bribe, the defense atty admitted she took bribes (but said it wasn't a federal crime), and no defense was offered.
Well, it's complex because it required a lot of thought on the part of the NPR reporter to tell the story without associating anyone from NPR's favorite political party with it.
Since the NPR reporter knows that their job relies upon not doing or saying anything that throws anything even remotely resembling a negative light on their main source of funding, it's a very very complicated situation.