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story.lead_photo.caption This screenshot from the Pulaski County jail website shows Treasurer Martha Shoffner was booked in about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner was booked into the Pulaski County jail Saturday afternoon on a federal extortion charge, authorities said.

The jail website shows Shoffner, 68, was booked in shortly before 4:30 p.m. The website lists the FBI as the arresting agency and the court as U.S. District Court.

It says she is being held on a hold for U.S. Marshals.

FBI spokeswoman Kimberly Brunell told the Associated Press Shoffner was arrested at her home in Newport and is scheduled for a federal court hearing Monday. Brunell said Shoffner was arrested on charges of "extortion under color of official right."

Shoffner, a Democrat, is in her second term as treasurer.

Lawmakers last year asked authorities to look into an audit that found Shoffner's decision to sell bonds before they matured cost the state thousands of dollars.

Shoffner told a legislative panel in September she couldn't recall why her office sold bonds before their maturity dates and purchased similar bonds from the same brokers. Auditors said the activity resulted in a total economic loss of more than $800,000 to the state.

It wasn't clear if her arrest was tied to that investigation.

An online federal court system didn't show any new cases involving Shoffner filed or unsealed as of 7 p.m. Saturday.

A message left with a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas wasn't immediately returned Saturday night.

See Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this story


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Archived Comments

  • RaylanGivens
    May 18, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.

    One thing about the FBI, they always ask questions where they already know the answers. I'm sure she's not guilty. HA HA

  • DoWhat
    May 18, 2013 at 7:58 p.m.

    The look on her face is priceless...her face says......what? really? me? i didn't do anything...

  • Dontcallmenames
    May 18, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.

    Shocking...she's a Democrat!

  • RaylanGivens
    May 18, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.

    I just love the way each party gets so cocky when things start going their way. Then they get that punch in the gut followed by a right cross to the kisser to remind them that pride is a big sin.

  • RaylanGivens
    May 18, 2013 at 8:19 p.m.

    I heard she is on Air Force 1 to be announced as next IRS commish, and she will also look into Benghazigate.

  • NoUserName
    May 18, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.

    I've only lived here a few years, but Martha was the one (well, one of them maybe) I always thought was a snake. Karma, perhaps.

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    May 18, 2013 at 10:14 p.m.

    800,000, oh pig sh*t. This could be considered cruel punishment due to no evening wine after the evening meal.

  • carrollallison
    May 19, 2013 at 4:37 a.m.

    Just remember. Arrested, not convicted

  • NoUserName
    May 19, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.

    While technically true, the Feds have a rather high conviction rate. I think it's a pretty safe bet that at the conclusion of all this, Martha will be guilty of something - either by plea or by trial.

  • Populist
    May 19, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.

    Arkansans usually have to depend on the feds to clean up our dirty politicians. While innocence should be presumed in most cases, when the feds in a Democratic administration go after a Democrat, it's a good bet that she is guilty.