Judge denies Shoffner request for attorney

Posted: April 11, 2014 at 3:22 p.m.

A federal judge has turned down a request by former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner for him to appoint her hand-picked lawyer to represent her in her appeal of her corruption convictions.

Shoffner was convicted last month on 14 bribery and extortion counts. She filed court papers saying her trial exhausted her financial resources and asked U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes to appoint one of her lawyers as a government-paid defender. Holmes on Friday signed an order denying the request, saying it's not the court's practice to appoint counsel that a defendant has already retained.

The judge withheld ruling on whether Shoffner is entitled to having the government pay for her appeals lawyer.

Shoffner was convicted of accepting money from a bond dealer in exchange for sending him business.