Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner Resigns Amid Charges She Took Cash

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 5:21 pm  

Martha Shoffner was elected twice as Treasurer of Arkansas. (Photo by AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Legislative auditors last year questioned Shoffner's selling of bonds before they matured, a practice that they said cost the state more than $434,000 worth of earnings.

Shoffner was arrested at her home in Newport after the broker agreed to record the meeting and bring $6,000 in a pie box, according to the affidavit. FBI agents executed a search warrant and found the cash inside a cigarette package in Shoffner's kitchen. Shoffner admitted that she accepted the payments from the broker, the FBI said in its affidavit.

After Monday's court appearance, Shoffner told reporters she didn't plan on stepping down. But her attorney said he would probably advise her to resign.

Lawmakers could have held impeachment proceedings to remove Shoffner from office if she didn't resign, but legislative leaders stopped short of saying they'd seek that option.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor also had called for her resignation in the wake of the charges. So had the heads of the state Democratic and Republican parties.

Whoever Beebe appoints to fill Shoffner's term cannot run for the seat next year.

Shoffner is a former state representative who was first elected treasurer in 2006 and won a second term in 2010 after defeating a Green Party challenger.

During her re-election bid, she apologized for referring to the state trooper driving Beebe as a "manservant." Shoffner made the comments while defending her personal use of a state vehicle.

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