Ex-lobbyist in Arkansas corruption case seeks freedom

July 13, 2019 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former lobbyist who pleaded guilty to bribing three former Arkansas lawmakers in a political corruption case in Arkansas and Missouri is asking to be released from custody pending his formal sentencing.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that request to release 58-year-old Rusty Cranford was filed Friday in federal court, saying he has fully cooperated with prosecutors and will continue doing so.


Cranford faces up to 10 years in prison for paying bribes to former Arkansas state Sen. Jon Woods, Rep. Henry “Hank ” Wilkins IV and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and son of former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson.

Woods was convicted and is appealing. Wilkins and Jeremy Hutchinson each pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

The bribes were intended to increase revenue for the Missouri-based nonprofit Preferred Family Healthcare so Cranford and others could embezzle from the nonprofit.