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Hearing set for July in Faulkner County administrator theft case

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published February 11, 2013 at 10:08 a.m.

file-faulkner-county-administrator-jeff-johnston-right-walks-out-of-court-in-conway-with-his-attorney-joe-don-winningham-on-aug-30-2012

FILE - Faulkner County Administrator Jeff Johnston (right) walks out of court in Conway with his attorney, Joe Don Winningham on Aug. 30, 2012.

— A judge on Monday set a July hearing to resolve motions in the felony theft-of-property case against Faulkner County Administrator Jeff Johnston.

Johnston and his attorneys appeared before Faulkner County Circuit Judge Michael Maggio on Monday morning for a status hearing.

Johnston is charged with two felony counts tied to a 2008 asphalting project on his private driveway. Prosecutors say he used county money to do the work. Johnston has pleaded innocent.

On Monday, defense attorneys Jeff Rosenzweig and Joe Don Winningham told Maggio they would need a full day to resolve motions in the case, including one to have it moved out of Conway.

The judge set it for July 12, which he said was the first full day available on the court schedule.

The case was assigned to Maggio because the previous judge, Rhonda Wood, moved to the Arkansas Court of Appeals before a trial could be conducted.

Johnston's attorneys had objected to Wood being assigned the case in the first place, and she responded by issuing sanctions against Winningham. The sanctions were later vacated, and Wood ordered the random reassignment because she had to leave the post for the higher court.

Maggio asked Winningham on Monday whether he intended to object to his being assigned as judge. Winningham said if he did, he would file a motion within two weeks.

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NOTAGAIN says... February 11, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.

Such a crook. Not the only thing he stole and or missappropriated funds for. Hope he gets the book thrown at him. Desk too. Enough with these crooks in office. It's time to set a an example and actually give one a sentence to show that we have had enough!!!

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