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Centennial Says Jeremy Hutchinson in DefaultLock Icon

2 min read

Centennial Bank of Conway has sued state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson for $30,037.69, plus interest and late fees, the unpaid balance of a $50,000 business loan made to him in 2011.

The Little Rock Republican said Thursday he was unaware of the lawsuit, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court on May 4, but acknowledged owing the money.

Hutchinson, a lawyer, signed a promissory note April 22, 2011, with the bank, and in subsequent years he and the bank agreed to a series of changes in the terms of the agreement, according to the suit.

“Under the terms of the final Change in Terms Agreement, the maturity date of the Loan was extended to November 5, 2017, with all principal and accrued interest due on said maturity date unless earlier demanded by Centennial Bank,” the suit said.

However, on Feb. 5, Centennial and Hutchinson reached a forbearance agreement under which the loan was to be repaid by Oct. 1, 2018, the suit said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hutchinson was to make eight consecutive monthly payments of $1,000, with the first payment due on Feb. 5 and subsequent payments due the first of the month. The remaining balance was due Oct. 1.

Hutchinson, the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, said Thursday that he’d made a $1,000 payment last week, “but I don’t know if it was timely or not.”

Jeremy Hutchinson’s name surfaced earlier this month in the public corruption scandal engulfing a number of former state legislators, including Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV of Pine Bluff, a former Arkansas lawmaker who pleaded guilty April 30 in federal court to conspiring to accept more than $80,000 in bribes.

Wilkins’ guilty plea referred to two unnamed lawmakers, “Senator A” and “Senator B,” saying they helped pass legislation sought by Wilkins and lobbyist Rusty Cranford of Rogers. Hutchinson matched the description of Senator A provided in the federal information charging Wilkins. It didn’t accuse Hutchinson of wrongdoing and he has not been charged in the case.

Former state Sen. Jon Woods of Springdale was convicted May 3 of taking kickbacks in the wide-ranging federal public corruption investigation that ensnared Wilkins. Three other legislators have pleaded guilty since the beginning of 2017: former state Rep. Micah Neal of Springdale, former state Rep. Eddie Cooper of Melbourne and former state Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith.

Hutchinson is not seeking re-election to his District 33 Senate seat.

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