AP NEWS

Former Arkansas lawmaker pleads guilty to conspiracy

April 30, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former Arkansas lawmaker who became Jefferson County’s chief administrative officer after leaving the Legislature has pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept over $80,000 in bribes.

Prosecutors say 64-year-old Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV of Pine Bluff pleaded guilty on Monday. Officials say Wilkins told investigators in February that he took the money from an indicted lobbyist while he was still a state lawmaker.

In entering the plea, Wilkins acknowledged that while a state lawmaker from 2010 to 2014 he accepted a series of bribes from lobbyists and nonprofit organizations. Prosecutors say that in exchange, Wilkins voted in favor of specific legislation and steered about $245,000 to entities that funneled bribes to Wilkins through his church.

Wilkins served in the Arkansas House and Senate between 1999 and 2015.