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Shoffner says finances 'exhausted,' asks for legal help

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 25, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.

Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking a federal judge to declare her unable to pay for legal representation and to appoint counsel for her.

Shoffner was convicted this month on 14 bribery and extortion counts. She has another 10 fraud charges pending for allegedly spending campaign cash on personal items. On Tuesday, she signed documents saying she has "exhausted her financial resources" and asked that attorney Grant Ballard be appointed to represent her.

Ballard served as co-counsel in Shoffner's trial with Chuck Banks, who said in the document he'd continue to represent Shoffner.

If the motion is granted, the government will pay for Shoffner's defense.

She can be sentenced to up to 20 years on her convictions, but the sentencing hearing will be after the pending charges are resolved.

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miniahha says... March 25, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.

Never in my fifty years on this earth have I heard of a person requesting a specific lawyer to be their court-appointed counsel. I've looked on the internet and so far have found nothing to indicate that a person can pre-request which lawyer they want... given that they are even eligible for a court-appointed lawyer. I hope the judge has enough sense that, if she is even eligible for indigent services, he follows protocol and dictate who she gets... instead of the other way around.

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Firefighter says... March 25, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.

Maybe she could as for another pie from her stock broker friends.

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jmoz says... March 25, 2014 at 5:07 p.m.

Whoever is after Shoffner has bled her dry. Now it's time to call off the dogs. Mission accomplished. Another one bites the dust. Maybe others will learn you don't change brokers when investing state money. At least without approval from the correct parties.

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Pacorabone says... March 25, 2014 at 8:48 p.m.

Maybe her buddy Dustin McDaniel will represent her

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HM2 says... March 25, 2014 at 8:56 p.m.

pacorabone; maybe her buddy Justin can't defend her but he can acquit her

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HM2 says... March 25, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.

When the artical says " the government will pay Shoffner's defense that means you and I will pay Shoffner's defense.

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Pacorabone says... March 25, 2014 at 10:06 p.m.

Honestly.... What is her defense??? She is in video and audio receiving the funds... What could get defense be? Especially given the fact she had the opportunity to plea to a lesser or a single charge..

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Firefighter says... March 25, 2014 at 11:49 p.m.

A good defense lawyer can earn lots of our taxpayer money by filing legal paperwork for years and at the same time, keep guess who out of jail for years and years. As long as taxpayers are paying the bill, why not play the game and stay out of jail until you die while your lawyer earns a living. Our legal system always benefits (pays) the lawyers on both sides. And the guilty party with good lawyers never go to jail.

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RBBrittain says... March 26, 2014 at 1:45 a.m.

If she expects taxpayers to pay for her defense, she should get a public defender like any other criminal defendant. Sorry Ms. Shoffner, but you'd better get some tips from another jailbird named Martha -- Martha Stewart -- on how to decorate your jail cell...

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LevyRat says... March 26, 2014 at 6:35 a.m.

Typical TAX AND SPEND LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, this crook wants the taxpayers to pay for her stall tactics. Sent her to jail, do not pass go, do not collect another $36,000 in kickbacks.

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