Former State Senator Gilbert Baker indicted


Former State Senator Gilbert Baker, R-Conway, was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday on charges of conspiracy, bribery and honest services wire fraud.

Baker – a former legislator, lobbyist, UCA professor and administrator, chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, and one-time U.S. Senate candidate – served in the Arkansas legislature from 2001 to 2013. He was chairman of the Joint Budget Committee during his tenure.

The allegations are related to the case of former Circuit Court Judge Michael Maggio of Conway, who was sentenced in March 2016 to 10 years in federal prison for taking a bribe.

Maggio previously pleaded guilty to the charge in hopes of reducing his sentence after admitting he lowered a jury award in a lawsuit in exchange for campaign donations from Michael Morton, a nursing home operator based in Fort Smith.

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