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Former Employees Speak About Shoffner Arrest and FBI Questions

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- All eyes will be on the federal courthouse in Little Rock Monday where State Treasurer Martha Shoffner will appear in front of a judge to face extortion charges.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- All eyes will be on the federal courthouse in Little Rock Monday where State Treasurer Martha Shoffner will appear in front of a judge to face extortion charges.   
   
FBI agents arrested Shoffner Saturday at her home in Newport.  She remained in the Pulaski County Jail Sunday evening.

Governor Mike Beebe said Sunday afternoon he'll wait to hear from federal officials before he speaks his mind on Shoffner's arrest.

"After I see what the US Attorney officially says we'll have something to say about it," he said.
   
Meanwhile, three former Shoffner employees are talking about being questioned by the FBI during its investigation into Shoffner.

We first spoke with Cord Rapert, a former Shoffner office worker and campaign staffer, last year about a questionable campaign contribution.  The $10,000 donation from a New York law firm caught his eye during his work for Shoffner's 2010 reelection campaign.  Sunday we spoke with him over the phone about his former boss' arrest.

"I'm disappointed in the way that she's left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths for politics and politicians," Rapert said.

Rapert was an early supporter of the Democrat, Shoffner, during her time in the state legislature but claims she changed after getting elected to statewide office.

"She was much more arrogant," he said.  "She didn't necessarily treat the people around her as she had before."

Emails and phone calls to friends and supporters of Shoffner's, including Chief Deputy Debbie Rogers, went unreturned.

Rapert says he was interviewed last winter by the FBI regarding his work with Shoffner.

He declined to comment on what was discussed.

Two other former Shoffner employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity citing sensitivities at new jobs, said their FBI interviews focused on the handling of campaign funds.

In January, state legislators referred an audit critical of Shoffner's handling of state finances to federal investigators.  There have been accusations Shoffner played favorites by steering bond transactions to one particular brokerage firm.

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