Here’s the indictment., Baker faces conspiracy, bribery and seven wire artifice charges. The allegation was issued Thursday, but arise today.
He will arise in cloister Jan. 24.
There were no added indictments accompanying to the case fabricated accessible today.
We arise beforehand this anniversary that Maggio was not in federal bastille but had been spotted in Little Rock, arch to a acceptance that he was allied with federal authorities. He got a 10-year book originally because prosecutors said he reneged on a affiance of cooperation and had been untruthful.
Baker has been a lobbyist in contempo years and retained a abode as a tenured affiliate of the UCA music faculty. His attorney, Bud Cummins, beforehand beneath animadversion back I beforehand asked about whether he’d heard from federal prosecutors. Baker had reportedly been apparent with Cummins at the U.S. attorney’s appointment recently. He provided this account today:
“Mr. Baker has consistently maintained, including several times beneath affidavit oath, that at no time did he ask Adjudicator Mike Maggio or Mr. Michael Morton or anybody abroad to do annihilation abnormal or illegal. He has additionally consistently maintained that at no time did anyone ask him to do annihilation abnormal or illegal. All attack contributions in 2013 were handled accurately and were clearly arise in accessible records. Afterwards over bristles years of analysis Mr. Baker is assured that the accuracy will assuredly be fabricated known.”
Because of the force surrounding any federal allegation and out of account for the administrative process, Mr. Baker intends to accomplish no added accessible animadversion on the bulk
That Baker was accusable and did not access a address suggests that, if accustomed a chance, he didn’t action authorities any advice in the analysis of others such as Morton.
Today, I got this animadversion for Morton from his agent Matt DeCample:
The allegation accommodation a affair by Baker with “Individual D” a lobbyist and adviser for a barter accumulation that accurate abomination ameliorate and which was helped by money provided by Baker from “Individual A.” The allegation additionally mentions “Individual E,” addition applicant for administrative appointment (likely Supreme Cloister Amends Rhonda Wood), and “Individual F,” addition political consultant. (This is acceptable Clint Reed, who formed for a time for Maggio’s campaign, but abdicate it afterwards he landed in agitation for approximate Internet commentary. Maggio didn’t accomplish the run for Cloister of Appeals as a aspersion grew.)
Some of the key narrative:
In or about aboriginal 2013, BAKER agreed to be a fundraiser for Maggio’s attack for the Cloister of Appeals.
Individual F told Maggio and BAKER that Maggio would charge to accession about $100,000 to $150,000 to run a acknowledged campaign. BAKER told Maggio that Maggio would be amenable for abate donations from accompany and family, accretion about $25,000 to $50,000, and BAKER would be amenable for accoutrement the aberration by adopting funds from “industry types” including, amid added entities, nursing homes.
On or about May 16, 2013, at about 10:33 a.m., BAKER beatific a argument bulletin to Maggio, stating, “I accept a LR cafeteria today with the nursing home folks. The affair will be administrative races. You are at the top of the list.”
On or about May 16, 2013, at the lunch, which occurred at a restaurant in Little Rock, BAKER approached Individual A and asked Individual A to accommodate attack abutment to Maggio. Individual A agreed to accommodate attack support.
On or about May 16, 2013, about a bisected an hour afterwards the jury’s adjudication in the civilian lawsuit, BAKER and Maggio affianced in the afterward [four] communications apropos the verdict:
In or about June 2013, BAKER and Individual A met at a restaurant in Russellville to altercate banking abutment for Maggio and others. BAKER agreed to accelerate Individual A a fax absolute BAKER’ s specific banking requests.
In or about backward June or aboriginal July 2013, BAKER announced to Maggio that Individual A was watching the civilian accusation and would acknowledge Maggio authoritative a favorable decision.
In or about backward June or aboriginal July 2013, BAKER reminded Maggio to act in his official accommodation to account Individual A in barter for Individual A accouterment banking abutment for Maggio’s attack by communicating to Maggio, “win lose or draw” Individual A would abutment Maggio.
On or about July 2, 2013, BAKER beatific an e-mail to Individual B [this, according to accomplished accessible reporting, would be Little Rock advocate Chris Stewart], which declared in part: “Please get me 3 or 4 PAC names. Thanks.”
Between on or about July 2, 2013 and on or about July 8, 2013, BAKER and Individual B had a blast chat in which they discussed and agreed aloft names for the eight PACs that BAKER asked Individual B to create, including Citizens for Advice Technology (CIT) PAC, Conservative Persons In (CPI) PAC, D. Bruce Hawkins 2 (DBH 2) PAC, Go Acceptable Government (GGG) PAC, Administrative Ameliorate PAC, Red Arkansas PAC, Taxpayers for Change PAC, and Thomas Accumulation In (TGI) PAC. BAKER appropriate best of the names.
The allegation accommodation consecutive mechanics on PAC arrangements. The allegation alleges Baker induced Individual B to accord attack contributions to Maggio from himself, wife and law abutting in acknowledgment for an bearding “bonus.”
On or about November 21, 2013, BAKER acquired Individual B to affair a apocryphal balance for Aggregation B anachronous November 21, 2013, for “Legal Fees” in the bulk of $8,000.
On or about November 21, 2013, BAKER beatific a argument bulletin to Individual B: “Remember 3. 2k checks to Maggio for judge.”‘
On or about November 22, 2013, BAKER organized a fundraiser for Individual E [Rhonda Wood]. Prior to the fundraiser, BAKER afflicted the date on Individual A’s twentyfour checks from “7-8-13,” the date the checks were written, to “11-22-13,” the additional day a administrative applicant could accept attack contributions. BAKER gave Individual A’s checks to Individual E’s appointed attack adumbrative at the fundraiser.
Public assistant bribery is answerable because Maggio’s cloister position was financed by accessible money. The wire artifice accuse axis from checks accounting to the PACs.
I’m alive at nailing bottomward the absolute identities of the assorted bearding individuals, but I’m analytic abiding they are lobbyists and/or groups that accept appear up afore in advertisement on Baker’s fund-raising and Morton’s activities in abomination reform, such as abutment for the Arkansas Faith and Freedom Coalition, a abomination ameliorate accumulation that, over the years, has provided payments to Baker, above Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Michael Lamoureux and above Republican administrator Marvin Parks. None has been called or answerable with wrongdoing, I should add. The aforementioned could be said for Bruce Hawkins, a lobbyist and above Democratic administrator who created PACs that additionally accustomed money from Morton.
I’m gluttonous comments from Amends Wood. It’s not a decidedly acceptable abode for a Supreme Cloister affiliate to about-face up. She has responded at breadth on the bulk ahead and says she did annihilation abnormal in either fund-raising or consecutive administrative work. She refunded contributions to her accustomed chase for Supreme Court.
UPDATE: Amends Wood provided this able statement:
I, forth with abounding others who knew these two men, stepped advanced to abetment in the absorption of justice. Certainly I accept why some see the Baker allegation as aerial accustomed the alteration anecdotal of the arch player. However, the facts apropos Baker’s conduct in my attack accept been accessible ability for several years and I promptly denounced them back brought to my attention. Any attack now or in the approaching to allude that I accept done annihilation but act in the absorption of furthering amends is apocryphal
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