Arkansas governor’s nephew pleads not guilty to charges

Arkansas governor’s nephew pleads not guilty to charges
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2015 file photo, state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Benton, speaks at a legislative subcommittee meeting at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas lawmaker and nephew of the state's Republican governor has been indicted and accused of spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including a Caribbean cruise, school tuition payments and groceries. Federal prosecutors on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, announced that Hutchinson was charged with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns for what they called a scheme to steal campaign funds then falsify campaign finance reports and tax filings. Hutchinson is scheduled to appear before a federal judge on September 18. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File) (Danny Johnston)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former Arkansas lawmaker who is a nephew of the state's governor has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds on trips, groceries and other personal expenses.

Former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson made his first court appearance Tuesday after he was charged last month with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns. His case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker and tentatively set to go to trial on October 22.

Hutchinson is the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Both are Republicans.

Hutchinson resigned shortly after being charged and is the latest in a string of former Arkansas legislators to face accusations from federal prosecutors of corruption.

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