EL DORADO — Ouachita County Judge Mike Hesterly has pleaded innocent to new charges handed up by a grand jury earlier this month.
Hesterly was charged in January with bribery and conspiracy after federal prosecutors accused him of defrauding the federal government out of disaster relief funds after a 2009 tornado in Ouachita County.
Earlier this month, a superseding indictment was filed that adds an additional bribery count and one count of making a false statement to authorities.
The El Dorado News-Times reported that Hesterly and co-defendant Harry Clemons Jr. waived their right to an arraignment this week. Trial is set for Nov. 4.
The indictment alleges that Hesterly awarded a disaster relief contract to Clemons in exchange for a campaign contribution. Both men have denied the allegations.