A broker who handled a large share of Arkansas' bond business says he gave the state's former treasurer $6,000 at her Capitol office because she needed help through a rough patch in her life.
Steele Stephens told jurors at Martha Shoffner's bribery and extortion trial Friday that Shoffner's mother had recently died and she had recently lost an apartment and state car.
Stephens, worked for Russellville-based St. Bernard Financial Services at the time and isn’t connected to the investment house Stephens Inc., said he felt sorry for the former treasurer, and thought giving her money could be good for business.
Shoffner is accused of taking $36,000 from Stephens and directing state business his way. Stephens said the first transaction occurred at the state Capitol, and that after it occurred Shoffner said, "I hope there's no cameras in here."
Prosecutors have given Stephens immunity. Shoffner's lawyer says no crime occurred.