Arkansas state judge sentenced 10 years for accepting bribes

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2016 5:55 PM

(Reuters) - A former Arkansas judge was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday in a federal court in Little Rock after he pleaded guilty to lowering the amount of damages a jury awarded in a civil suit in exchange for campaign contributions.

Michael Maggio, 54, a former state district judge, reached a plea deal in 2015 where he admitted to receiving the bribes to reduce a $5.2 million judgment in a civil negligence case against a nursing home company to $1 million, according to court papers.

Maggio met with an unidentified person who said he could provide about $50,000 in campaign funds in return for a favorable ruling in the civil case, the papers said.

In the plea deal, Maggio admitted that he "corruptly accepted and agreed to accept from another something of value, that is campaign contributions," in connection with a business matter in his court.

Maggio was removed from office in September 2014 after admitting he disclosed information about the adoption of a child by Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron, which was handled by another judge in the state.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Alistair Bell)