LITTLE ROCK — The owner of two Arkansas-based mental health companies faces federal charges in the alleged bribery of a former Arkansas Department of Human Services official, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said Thursday.

LITTLE ROCK — The owner of two Arkansas-based mental health companies faces federal charges in the alleged bribery of a former Arkansas Department of Human Services official, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said Thursday.


Ted Suhl, 50, of Warm Springs is named in a six-count indictment returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Arkansas. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services fraud, three counts of honest services fraud, one count of bribery involving federal funds and one count of interstate travel in aid of bribery.


Suhl is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Little Rock on Dec. 15, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Little Rock.


The indictment alleges that Suhl bribed Steven Jones, former deputy director of DHS, to perform acts in his official capacity that benefited Suhl and his companies and to provide internal DHS information to Suhl.


Beginning in April 2007, Suhl, Jones and Phillip Carter, a former West Memphis city councilman, allegedly met periodically at restaurants in Memphis, Tenn., and Arkansas so Suhl could request assistance from Jones, according to the indictment.


In exchange for Jones’ agreement to perform official acts, Suhl issued checks to the pastor of Carter’s church that Carter and the pastor then cashed to pay Jones, the indictment alleges.


Jones pleaded guilty last year to bribery and conspiracy charges. Carter, who also is a former probation officer in Crittenden County, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud.


Jones and Carter have not yet been sentenced.