Ted Suhl trial gets underway; finally caught in camera's eye | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ted Suhl trial gets underway; finally caught in camera's eye

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 3:33 PM

click to enlarge TED SUHL: In courtroom sketch today. - COURTROOM DRAWING BY JENNIFER PERREN
  • Courtroom drawing by Jennifer Perren
  • TED SUHL: In courtroom sketch today.

Trial began today of Ted Suhl, accused of bribing public officials to help his business providing mental health treatment for youths, reimbursed by the federal Medicaid program.

Benji Hardy is in the courtroom and reports that Judge Billy Roy Wilson's early remarks included some apparent concern about pre-trial publicity, perhaps referring to the Arkansas Blog.

We've noted that, to date, Suhl has managed to come and go from the federal courthouse without having to pass photographers, as previous defendants accused of bribery have done. (Former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner and former Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, to name two.)

A Justice Department spokesman says Suhl has received no special treatment and was not afforded back-door access, as sometimes is given sensitive visitors. Perhaps Suhl simply arrives very, very early at the courthouse. Photographers in place at 7:30 a.m. this morning did not see him, but he was on hand in court when the trial began. Cameras are not allowed inside the courthouse.

Jury selection is underway. The trial is expected to run through next week.

Suhl's operation of the Lord's Ranch, later renamed Trinity Behavioral Health, has been the subject of several investigative articles in the Arkansas Times over the last 20 years. His community-based counseling businesses operated under the name Maxus. Among the allegations pursued by prosecutors were suggestions that Suhl influenced people in charge of juvenile placement to use his businesses. He also was appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee to serve on the board that regulates child treatment facilities.

UPDATE: A jury has been seated and opening statements delivered. The government's case follows that in the indictment — Suhl paid former legislator and DHS official Steven Jones and former probation officer and West Memphis councilman Phillip Carter for favors. Jones will clearly be a key witness. Suhl's defense will cast doubt first on Carter and depict him as a recipient of money Suhl aimed to go to a local church. That apparently will be an argument to explain undercover video of Suhl passing a check to Carter. Jones, who received consulting fees from Suhl, perhaps will be harder to explain, though Suhl's attorneys have already raised Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's successful legal theory that giving financial benefit to a politician is not a crime without specific public acts in return.

UPDATE: Nelson Chenault caught Suhl and entourage leaving the courthouse this afternoon.
click to enlarge TED SUHL: Photographed after court today. - NELSON CHENAULT
  • Nelson Chenault
  • TED SUHL: Photographed after court today.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Dear Little Rock,

    • OMG! You bought the domain and created an "intervention" website over the weekend to go…

    • on October 23, 2017
  • Re: Dear Little Rock,

    • Publishing this in the DG, Washington Post or flying a banner would be money well…

    • on October 23, 2017
  • Re: The Monday Democrat-Gazette was slimmer this morning

    • I take the Dem/Gazette primarily to read Wally Hall! (All who believe that can stand…

    • on October 23, 2017

Blogroll

 

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