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