Updated: Will Shoffner Resign? "Not at This Time"

Updated: Will Shoffner Resign? "Not at This Time"

Court documents show Arkansas Treasurer demanded personal cash payments from broker doing business with the state.
Updated (3:30 p.m.)
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Mike Beebe has issued the following statement on the indictment of Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner:
"I think Martha Shoffner should resign, and I think she should resign immediately. While everyone is presumed innocent until legal proceedings are complete, it would be very hard for the Treasurer's Office to function properly under her continued leadership. When you are elected to any public office, your conduct is held to a higher level of expectations to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. These alleged actions are far worse than that."

Updated (12:45 p.m.):

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner says "not at this time" when asked this afternoon if she will resign after her arrest on federal extortion charges.

Shoffner entered no plea in her morning appearance in Federal Court today and was later released from custody.

The hearing for Shoffner before United States Magistrate Judge H. David Young was brief, lasting only six minutes.

She was dressed in her own clothing (black suit) for the appearance.

No other court dates have yet been set for Shoffner.

If convicted, Shoffner faces not more than 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, or both followed by not more than 3 years supervised release.

Original story (10:45 a.m.):
LITTLE ROCK, AR - In Federal Court in Little Rock, new details are emerging this morning about the weekend arrest of Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner.

Shoffner is in court today to answer extortion charges.

Additional information about the case against includes the following:

Criminal Complaint
FBI Special Agent - Richard McLain
January 2012 - FBI and employee

  • Extortion - Shoffner obtained cash payments to which she wasn't entitled
  • Mid 2011 - noticed using one broker over others
  • Mid 2011 - Martha Shoffner: "They (the other brokers) have done nothing for me.
  • April 2012 - Cooperating witness says Shoffner began using this broker about the same time she was looking for a new place to live in Little Rock.
  • January 2013 - FBI interviewed broker. They were instructed to go to the backdoor of the Treasurer's Office
  • January 2013 Martha Shoffner: "You gave me no cash and you just sponsored a watch party."  
In court, investigators said Shoffner started asking the broker for larger gifts, and asked him to buy her property. After he did not, she asked for $1,000 a month to pay her rent in Little Rock.  The broker recommended they meet every six months. 

The broker says he paid Shoffner $4,700 for a Watch Party and six payments of $6,000.

Also from court documents:
A confidential informant (the person she was getting payments from) showed up at her house with a $6,000 payment on Saturday. The cash was rolled up and placed into a pie box. During the meeting the informant gave the money to Martha, then that person left. The FBI then went in and found the money in her kitchen. She was interviewed by the FBI and she said knew it was wrong.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued the following statement about Shoffner's arrest today: "Having reviewed the Criminal Complaint filed this morning, I am deeply disturbed about the allegations against State Treasurer Martha Shoffner. If proven to be true, these actions are a betrayal of her oath to our constitution and to our people. Although Ms. Shoffner is presumed innocent, I believe that she should resign immediately to allow the work of the Treasurer's Office to continue."
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