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Formation of Anti-Corruption Task Force

The US Attorney's office along with the FBI and local law enforcement announce the formation of a corruption task force to root out public officials abusing their power in office.
LITTLE ROCK- The US Attorney's office along with the FBI and local law enforcement announce the formation of a corruption task force to root out public officials abusing their power in office.

The task force is something the US Attorney's office has been working to set up with the FBI, Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, and the Little Rock Police Department just in the last few months. The announcement comes just after State Treasurer Martha Shoffner is arrested on alleged corruption charges. Chris Thyer, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, says the allegations against Shoffner are serious. "They completely erode the public trust we put in our elected officials if they prove to be true."

Special Agent with the FBI, Randy Coleman, says that's why the anti-corruption task force is needed. It's specifically designed to deal with these types of cases. "I want to send a clear message that public corruption will not be tolerated in the State of Arkansas."

Thyer says, "We all have a job to make sure our elected officials and our public servants, elected or not, abide by the law and stand up for the law."

The task force will share resources, and help investigate and pursue charges at the state or federal level. Coleman says fighting corruption is top priority. "Because of its nature, it's different from other crimes and requires a special task force isolated from political pressure to protect the community."

But the task force cannot operate alone. The public is asked to come forward to help root out corruption. "If anybody knows anything about corruption in the State of Arkansas, please contact us. The anonymous tip line to call is 501-221-8200."

Agents say Martha Shoffner isn't the first case of alleged corruption and won't be the last.

Investigators say the task force will follow every lead and hold people accountable on behalf of the people of Arkansas. More information about the task force is expected to be revealed in the coming days.
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