WOODS: Will face trial for alleged kickback scheme this spring.
The trial in the corruption case against former state Sen. Jon Woods is set for April 9, Doug Thompson reports at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Federal prosecutors allege that Woods took kickbacks from state money he guided to Ecclesia College and a mental health agency. Also on trial are Oren Paris III
, president of the college, and Randell Shelton Jr.
, a friend of Woods and Paris who allegedly participated in the scheme.
Earlier this month
, Federal Judge Timothy Brooks
had delayed the trial because of the recent discovery by the defense of the existence of 79 recordings, covering 52 hours of conversation, that were surreptitiously made by former Rep. Micah Neal. He's pleaded guilty to being part of the scheme and set to be a witness for the government.
Shelton is trying to have the charge against him dismissed. He argues the additional conversations might have exculpatory evidence.
Brooks set evidentiary hearings for Jan. 10 regarding a claim of attorney-client privilege by Woods and Jan. 25 regarding Shelton's motion to dismiss.
Here's the judge's order