Filing reveals legislative 'consulting contract': Was it one of a kind? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Filing reveals legislative 'consulting contract': Was it one of a kind?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 7:06 AM

STEVEN JONES: He went on Ted Suhl's payroll in 2004. Is he the only legislator who ever did such "consulting" work.
  • STEVEN JONES: He went on Ted Suhl's payroll in 2004. Is he the only legislator who ever did such "consulting" work.
Linda Satter of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dug into court filings in the Ted Suhl bribery case today as we'd done last week in noting Suhl's use of a new Supreme Court decision to make a case that money he'd passed out to public officials wasn't bribery, but merely political payments for access. Just like a campaign contribution.

Suhl is accused of, among others, paying Steven Jones, a former legislator and state DHS official, for help in his multi-million-dollar mental health business that depended on state reimbursements.

The government has filed responses to support its bribery case that says Suhl's relationship with Jones went back to 2004, when he signed a $1,000-a-month contract to provide "marketing services" for a Suhl company.

"Jones will testify at trial, however, that he performed no work under this contract," says the brief by a department trial attorney, Amanda Vaughn. "Instead, the defendant's payments to him were simply a 'retainer' fee."

The mention inevitably gives rise to speculation about the long-held belief that "consulting contracts" and "retainer fees" have long been a ruse used by legislators to enrich themselves in ways beyond ready reach of the state's porous financial disclosure law. It's particularly easy for lawyers, who need not disclose clients in their law firms. But there have long been other legislators with consulting businesses. On what do these legislators consult, when their only obvious means of support and expertise is serving in the legislature.

There are rumors that the ongoing public corruption investigation arising fro the Maggio bribery case might have expanded into such territory. Wouldn't that be nice?


Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conflicts of interest in the legislatures

    The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.
  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • Cats and dogs

    I've always been leery of people who dislike animals. To my wife and me, a house without dog hair in the corners and a cat perched on the windowsill is as barren as a highway rest stop. We're down to three dogs and two cats, the smallest menagerie we've had for years.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation