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Ex-Treasurer Shoffner seeks dismissal of corruption charges

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 21, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.

Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking a federal judge to throw out corruption charges on which she is to be tried in a little over a week.

Shoffner faces trial March 3 on a 14-count extortion and bribery indictment, which accuses her of accepting $36,000 from a bond dealer in exchange for steering state business his way. Shoffner asked Friday that the counts be thrown out on grounds that the allegations don't involve interstate commerce.

Lawyers for Shoffner argue that to allow prosecution would "extend federal power beyond its proper bounds."

Shoffner faces another 10 counts of mail fraud for allegedly misspending $9,800 in campaign money, on which she is to be tried separately.

Shoffner was in her second term as treasurer last year when she was arrested.

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TigerInArk says... February 22, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.

So, her lawyers do not deny the 14 counts of extortion and bribery, but think this should not be tried in a federal court. They apparently cannot argue that she is innocent.

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