Arkansas state treasurer arrested on federal extortion charges

By Arturo Garcia
Monday, May 20, 2013 9:52 EDT
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Arkansas state treasurer Martha Shoffner (D) arrested on federal extortion charges. Image via KATV-TV
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Arkansas state treasurer Martha Shoffner (D) is scheduled to appear in a federal court Monday in connection with extortion charges.

KATV-TV reported on Saturday that Shoffner was arrested at her home by Federal Bureau of Investigation and taken to Pulaski County Jail, where she has been held without bond.

The station also reported that the state legislative joint auditing committee criticized Shoffner in September 2012 after her office cost the state more than $430,000 following the sale of premature bonds. State Rep. Kim Hammer (R), the committee’s co-chair, said the group felt they had information to turn over to authorities for their own investigation.

While Gov. Mike Beebe (D) told KLRT-TV on Sunday that he would not comment until he received more information from the U.S. Attorney’s office on the case, state Democratic Party chair Will Bond released a statement.

“Any arrest of an elected official hurts the public’s confidence in our system of government and feeds cynicism,” said the statement, according to KATV. “If crimes have been committed, we trust and expect our judicial system to prosecute and punish wrongdoing. We await further details, understanding that all have the right to be presumed innocent.”

Watch KATV’s report on Shoffner’s arrest, aired Saturday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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