Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mike Maggio appeals conviction and sentence in bribery case

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 3:44 PM

click to enlarge APPEALS RULING: Former judge Mike Maggio at the federal courthouse last week. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • APPEALS RULING: Former judge Mike Maggio at the federal courthouse last week.

Former Conway Circuit Judge Mike Maggio has filed an appeal to the federal Eighth Circuit following his sentencing last week to ten years in federal prison, the maximum allowed under law.

The appeal, which was filed yesterday, comes as no surprise. Maggio's lawyer, James Hensley, told reporters after the sentencing last Thursday that his client planned to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller departed from federal guidelines in giving Maggio the 120-month sentence, citing the gravity of the former state judge's crimes and the damage he'd done to public faith in the judicial system. In early 2015, Maggio pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe in a case before his court in 2013 in which he took campaign contributions in return for granting a favorable ruling to a wealthy donor. However, in early 2016, Maggio attempted to walk back the guilty plea and challenged whether the federal bribery statute in question actually applied in his case. Judge Miller said that it did and denied his request to withdraw the guilty plea.

Maggio requested leave to file his appeal in forma pauperis, meaning he lacks the funds to pursue the costs of the suit. Judge Miller granted that motion today, court documents show.

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