Court date set for indicted former treasurer


LITTLE ROCK — A federal judge Friday set a June 27 date for former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner’s initial appearance in court on a 14-count extortion and bribery indictment.

Shoffner is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Joe J. Volpe. The court appearance also will be a plea and arraignment hearing for Shoffner, who faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of seven extortion counts and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of seven bribery counts if convicted.

Shoffner had been under investigation for more than a year because of suspect bond transactions in her office when federal authorities took her into custody at her Newport home May 18 after an informant delivered a $6,000 cash payment in a pie box. She is accused of taking at least $36,000 in bribes to steer business to one broker.

Shoffner resigned May 21. On May 31, she attempted to plead guilty to a single count of public corruption, but U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes rejected her plea after she admitted she received money from the broker but refused to admit steering business to the broker in exchange for the cash.

She was indicted on Wednesday.