LITTLE ROCK — A federal judge Tuesday rescheduled the trial of former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who faces bribery and extortion charges.
U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes, rescheduled the trial, which had been set for July 29, to March 2, 2014.
In a one-page order issued Tuesday, Holmes said Shoffner’s attorney Chuck Banks requested a continuance.
"The issues herein are such that to deny the motion would deny counsel for (Shoffner) the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation for trial and to develop any and all proper defenses which might be averred in the defendant’s behalf," the order said.
FBI agents arrested Shoffner on May 18 at her Newport home. Authorities said she received kickbacks from a broker to whom she allegedly steered state bond business. She first appeared in court on May 21 and resigned as treasurer the next day.
A federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment against Shoffner on June 5, less than a week after Holmes rejected her guilty plea to a single federal corruption charge when she refused to say she took cash payments in exchange for performance of her official duties.
Shoffner now faces six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion and seven counts of receipt of bribery. She is accused of accepting kickbacks totaling $36,000.
Each extortion charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each bribery charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.