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Retrial delayed for ex-Arkansas senator accused of bribery

April 29, 2022 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The federal retrial of a former Arkansas lawmaker accused of bribery and wire fraud has been delayed until later this year.

A federal jury in August had acquitted former state Sen. Gilbert Baker on one count of conspiring to bribe an ex-judge.

But jurors deadlocked on another bribery charge and seven wire fraud charges Baker also faced.

Baker’s retrial had been set for May 17. But U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. on Wednesday granted a request to move the start of the retrial to Nov. 7.

Baker is accused of conspiring with former state Judge Michael Maggio, who admitted to accepting campaign donations from a nursing home operator, then reducing a judgment against that company by $4.2 million.

Michael Morton, the nursing home operator, has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing. Maggio was sentenced in 2015 to 10 years in prison.

Baker is a former chairman of the state Republican party who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

Baker was among several recent federal corruption cases that have involved Arkansas lawmakers and lobbyists.