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Judge orders separate trial on new Shoffner counts

Posted: February 14, 2014 at 1:50 p.m.

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner leaves the federal courthouse Thursday, June 27, 2013, in Little Rock with her attorney, Chuck Banks after pleading not guilty to 14 federal counts of extortion and bribery.

A federal judge has ordered a separate trial for former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner on charges she spent thousands from her re-election campaign on personal items such as clothing and cosmetics.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Leon Holmes on Friday granted Shoffner's request to be tried separately on the 10 counts of mail fraud she faces over the campaign cash. A federal grand jury earlier this month indicted Shoffner on the charges, adding them to charges filed last year accusing her of steering state investments to a broker who gave her $36,000 in cash.

Shoffner is set to go on trial March 3 over the charges related to the broker payments. Holmes said he'll set a trial date later for the mail fraud counts.

Shoffner, a Democrat, resigned in May.

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