Court filing shows nursing home owner cash transfer to Sen. Jake Files | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 5, 2017

Court filing shows nursing home owner cash transfer to Sen. Jake Files

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 8:17 AM

click to enlarge SEN. JAKE FILES: Newspaper reports cash transfer from nursing home owner to senator, who's sponsored legislation backed by that business sector.
  • SEN. JAKE FILES: Newspaper reports cash transfer from nursing home owner to senator, who's sponsored legislation backed by that business sector.
The Times Record in Fort Smith reports discovery of suggestive detail in court proceedings in Fort Smith related to the troubled business dealings of Sen. Jake Files and  his construction business.

A lawsuit against Files construction company says an $80,000 transfer was made to Files' company from David Norsworthy, an investor with Michael Morton of Fort Smith in a number of nursing homes in Arkansas. The transfer was in 2014, one week after introduction in the Senate of a proposed constitutional amendment to limit punitive damages in civil lawsuits. This has long been an aim of the nursing home industry. That measure didn't make the ballot but Files is a sponsor this year of a constitutional amendment endorsed by the legislature this year that will be before voters in 2018 to limit damages in civil lawsuits. CORRECTION: Eddie Joe Williams, not Files, was the sponsor of the resolution filed in 2014 on civil damages, which died in Senate committee.

Files declined to discuss the transfer with the newspaper, citing a protective order issued in the case in March 2015. Norsworthy didn't respond to calls. The newspaper account notes that the protective order was entered about a month before Files received a $30,000 loan from lobbyist Bruce Hawkins, an extension of credit first reported by the Arkansas Times. The loan was legal, but widely criticized. Since then, the legislature has passed a law to make such loans illegal. Files used the money to cover hot checks.

Political contributions by nursing homes owned by Fort Smith businessmen have been controversial, both for heavy influence in judicial races from circuit court to Supreme Court and also because they figured in the successful bribery prosecution of former Circuit Judge Mike Maggio, who reduced a $5.2 million jury verdict against a nursing home to $1 million. No one but Maggio has been charged. Morton has defended contributions to Maggio as legal and not intended to influence his decisions. Much the same has been said by former Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker, who arranged Morton contributions to Maggio and other judges, including Maggio friend and fellow Conwegian, Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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