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Peter Koski

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Federal circuit courts are split on a core question of corruption law: whether state and local officials, and agents of organizations that contract with or receive benefits from the federal government, may lawfully accept gratuities.

It is generally a federal crime for state and local officials to act in their official capacities in exchange for

What happens in Arkansas does not stay in Arkansas.  Or at least not when federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section get involved.

A recent sentencing from Arkansas highlights the many options in DOJ’s toolkit to pursue “state-level” misconduct involving public officials.  In the case of former state senator Jeremy Hutchinson, DOJ obtained a “global” guilty plea for misconduct charged in three separate district courts.  The court sentenced Hutchinson to 46 months incarceration. 

According to the Government’s sentencing memorandum, Hutchinson accepted over $157,500 from the owner of an orthodontic clinic in exchange for advancing favorable legislation to deregulate the state dental industry.  The bribes masqueraded as payment for legal retainers, according to the Plea Agreement.  In addition, Hutchinson:

commingled campaign contributions and donations with his own personal funds and misappropriated and converted campaign funds for his own personal use, including, but not limited to, using campaign funds for a vacation, hotel stay, travel expenses, groceries, a gym membership, and jewelry.

Continue Reading Recent Arkansas Sentencing Highlights How Easily Federal Prosecutors Can Target State Campaign Finance Issues

Late last week, the Supreme Court indicated that it intends to review a challenge by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to federal limits on the use of post-election contributions to repay pre-election loans that candidates make to their own campaigns.  This follows an earlier three-judge district court decision that struck down those limits as unconstitutional under

Every four years, prosecutors at the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) train their sights on money spent to influence the outcome of the presidential election—and those who spend it.  While the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has exclusive jurisdiction to penalize and enforce civil violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 52 U.S.C. § 30101 et

On June 8, 2020, the House of Representatives introduced the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 (hereinafter “the Act” or “the bill”) to “hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies.”  We anticipate a House committee markup the week of June 15 and a