Jesse Gibson Speaking Against Issue 1 in Conway September 10th!


Please join us as Jesse Gibson addresses the Faulkner County Democratic Party this Monday, September 10th, at 6:00 PM at Old Chicago Pizza in Conway.  We will be discussing (among other things) Issue 1, the tort "reform" provision that will be on the November ballot.  We will have general information about Issue 1 and why it is bad for Arkansans, plus ways for you to get involved and to defeat Issue 1!  If you have any questions, please contact us through our website at or by email at  Please view the latest Protect AR Families anti-Issue 1 ad below!


Defrocked Circuit Judge Mike Maggio Receives Maximum 10 Year Sentence

It was reported today by the Arkansas Times that former circuit judge Mike Maggio received the maximum 10 year sentence from federal judge Brian Miller.  The case involved accepting a bribe to reduce a nursing home verdict in Faulkner County from $5.2 million to $1.0 million.  In imposing the maximum sentence that was in line with the sentencing report, Judge Miller remarked that a dirty judge was more dangerous than a dope dealer, because a dirty judge made the entire public lose faith in the entire judicial system.  

Judge Maggio had sought to withdraw his guilty plea in recent days.  After that went nowhere, he begged for leniency and mercy due to a myriad of unconvincing reasons.  It is unknown where he will serve his time.  He can apparently receive some sentence reductions if he begins complying with his plea agreement and cooperates with federal investigators about the actions of his co-conspirators.  

As an editorial aside, I expect Mr. Maggio to begin cooperating post haste.  If he was concerned about serving serious jail time, that possibility just got very, very real.  I imagine there are some very concerned parties in Conway and Forth Smith tonight.  Gilbert Baker and Michael Morton cannot have much faith that Mr. Maggio will willingly serve out his time when he could minimize it by implicating them with everything he has.  This case has long bothered me, as it only serves to confirm what many believe, right or wrong, happens all the time.  The damage to the justice system in the public's eye is immeasurable.  Updates as they happen.  

Judicial Bribe Case May Reach Beyond the Usual Suspects

Readers of my blog know that I have intently followed the case originating in Faulkner County Circuit Court involving the sordid tale of defrocked Judge Mike Maggio, Michael Morton, and Gilbert Baker.  The story, admitted to by Maggio in his plea agreement, is that he illegally reduced a $5.2 million nursing home verdict obtained by Tom Buchanan on behalf of the Estate of Martha Bull to $1 million in return for exorbitant cash contributions to his then burgeoning campaign for the Court of Appeals.  Once this corrupt scheme came to light, Maggio's campaign was kaput, he lost his law license, and he is looking at deserved jail time. 

Though unnamed, there were several co-conspirators mentioned in Maggio's plea agreement.  These were largely believed to be Michael Morton, the Fort Smith based nursing home mogul, and Gilbert Baker, the former politico and lobbyist with a shady history where money and politics intersect.  It has been nearly 10 months since Maggio's guilty plea, and since then, those in the legal community have been waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Since the investigation is being led by the FBI, it has long been believed that Maggio was cooperating with authorities and providing information and perhaps testimony against other parties involved in this truly shameful debacle.

Additional fuel was thrown onto that fire this week when Maggio's sentencing, which had already been pushed back until November 20, 2015, was again pushed back until February 26, 2016.  Is this perhaps evidence that the investigation may be spreading out to other lawmakers or additional co-conspirators?  What about other judges?  What about confidants of both Morton and/or Baker?  Best to wait and see, but it may very well be that the scope of the investigation has spread and will continue its slow sprawl, perhaps very high in state government.  I would venture to say many pols here in Arkansas are sweating and keeping a very, very low profile right now.  

Stay tuned.