Former Arkansas Orthodontist Denies Bribing State Lawmaker

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas orthodontist has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges involving a former state senator who acknowledged accepting thousands of dollars in exchange for efforts to change a dental practices law.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Benjamin Burris entered the pleas Monday in federal court in Fayetteville. He’s charged with 14 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a scheme involving former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.

Former Arkansas lawmaker Jeremy Hutchinson.

Hutchinson has also pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a health nonprofit in another case. Hutchinson is the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and son of former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson.

Burris is accused of paying Hutchinson more than $157,000 through Hutchinson’s law firm and providing gifts such as free orthodontic services for his family.

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