Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner
begins with pre-trial motions and jury selection today in federal court in Little Rock.
that defense attorney Chuck Banks
asked today for any immunity letter given Steele Stephen
s, the broker who was wired when delivering cash to Shoffner at her Newport home. She is charged with favoring Stephens with bond business in return for such gratuities. The Arkansas Blog reported Stephens
was the cooperating witness 10 months ago, but this was the first time he's been identified in an official forum. The government says no immunity letter has been prepared.
The Arkansas Blog reported in October 2011
that Stephens enjoyed a significant portion of the treasurer's bond business. This was before a legislative audit of Shoffner's office, an audit that turned up no wrongdoing but some questions about the wisdom of some of her investment practices. The scrutiny didn't deter the Shoffner-Steele friendship, which culminated with his reported delivery of $6,000 to Shoffner in a pie box in May 2013. FBI agents were sitting outside during the delivery.
The trial of former