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story.lead_photo.caption Gilbert Baker of Conway ( Faulkner County sheriff's office )

CONWAY -- Former state Sen. Gilbert Baker, who fought efforts to allow Conway restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages, was arrested Friday night on allegations including drunken driving.


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An online inmate roster for the Faulkner County jail lists Baker, 59, as being released Saturday morning. It says bail for Baker, who now teaches music at the University of Central Arkansas, was set at $1,395.

The online roster displayed someone else's picture beside Baker's name. A sheriff's office employee said the office was working to correct the problem Saturday afternoon.

Baker was arrested by Conway police on charges of driving while intoxicated, refusal to take a breath test and driving left of center.

Baker, a Conway Republican, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Bud Cummins, an attorney who has represented Baker in an unrelated federal criminal investigation, said he had no comment.

Baker, who also is a lobbyist, helped raise money for former Circuit Judge Michael Maggio's later-halted campaign for the Arkansas Court of Appeals. In January 2015, Maggio pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge and implicated two other people -- his fundraiser and a nursing-home owner -- in a plea agreement that did not give their names.

Baker and nursing-home owner Michael Morton have denied wrongdoing but have said they believe the plea agreement was referring to them. Neither Baker nor Morton has been charged in the bribery investigation, and Maggio is appealing a federal judge's decision refusing to let Maggio withdraw the guilty plea.

When Baker was a state legislator, he actively opposed some private-club liquor permits in Conway. Faulkner County does not allow the sale of alcoholic beverages, but numerous restaurants there now have permits to serve them.

State Desk on 08/28/2016

Print Headline: Ex-senator Baker charged with DWI


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Archived Comments

  • Winfield
    August 28, 2016 at 8:04 a.m.

    I just wonder if he got all tanked up at one of those restaurants he fought against that serve alcohol? If so, then in my personal opinion, he's an outright hypocrit.

  • Wkbear
    August 28, 2016 at 12:09 p.m.

    When is his first court date?

  • PopMom
    August 28, 2016 at 2:12 p.m.

    The problem is not the drinking of alcohol. It is the driving. People all should drink in their homes, at their neighbors, or at the neighborhood bar. I never drink and drive--very far. Also, there are taxis and Uber--for heaven's sake.

  • Wkbear
    August 29, 2016 at 8:21 a.m.

    The problem with Baker besides driving drunk is his hypocrisy. Over the years he has lobbied vigorously to keep alcohol away from his constituents who drink responsibly and enjoy a glass of wine with dinner at a Conway restaurant. Baker is a poster child for all that is wrong with today's Republicans. Even they don't believe what they preach anymore.

  • RBBrittain
    August 29, 2016 at 9:09 a.m.

    The sad part is he's more likely to be convicted over this than his role in bribing Judge Maggio. Of course, it also proves the hypocrisy of Arkansas liquor laws, especially in Faulkner County where Conway County (and Morgan) liquor stores have more political pull than the people themselves!

  • Slak
    August 29, 2016 at 9:54 a.m.

    Before he was corrupted by politics, he was a hell of a nice guy.
    Politics corrupts. It would be a mercy to change out all politicians at every election.
    Throw out the Political Elitists!
    Down with the Establishment!
    Vote Trump!

  • mrcharles
    August 29, 2016 at 10:19 a.m.

    YOu should blame Eve for the fall of man.

    A hypcrite? The scorpions keep telling the frogs just give us a ride across by whispering sweet nothings [ that is what they are to get for their trust] the river and some are stupid frogs with their particular brand of logic give them a ride [vote] and whoops another frog done wronged & drowns.

    The scorpions say proudly that is what I do!

    wkbear, have they ever?

    Slak I say it was in him and like the blues song says, It just had to come out!

    rbb, Sound Wisdom. you know some of the secrets denied to others.

  • Slak
    August 29, 2016 at 10:38 a.m.

    mrcharles, IT is in us all. No matter what your ILK, Mitochondrial Eve is your grandmama.

  • Slak
    August 29, 2016 at 10:50 a.m.

    The hypocrisy begins when we start believing some supernatural incantation will drive IT from us. We are meat, all the same meat, born selfish and needy.

  • itryed
    August 29, 2016 at 11:15 a.m.

    Repubess make voting soooooo easy