Ex-State Lawmaker Testifies He And Ex-Senator Took Kickbacks


FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — A former Arkansas lawmaker has testified in the bribery trial of a former state senator that they accepted kickbacks for steering state funding to a college and a nonprofit.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Republican former Rep. Micah Neal was the first witness in the federal trial of Republican former Sen. Jon Woods and consultant Randall Shelton.

Neal pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to testify for prosecutors in the trial of Woods and Shelton. Woods and Shelton have pleaded not guilty.

Neal testified that he and Woods agreed to a plan in which they would receive 20 percent of grant money steered to Ecclesia College in Springdale and another nonprofit agency.

Ecclesia President Oren Paris III has also pleaded guilty in the case and agreed to testify for prosecutors.