Feds Say Former Batesville Prosecutor Used Office as Corrupt Enterprise

February 3, 2004 - Posted at 1:56 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A federal prosecutor addressed a jury today to set forth the government's case against former prosecutor T.J. Hively, who is accused of using his office as a criminal enterprise.

The trial of Hively and two co-defendants began today with opening statements from the federal prosecutors as well as lawyers for the accused.

Hively is accused of several corruption counts brought by a federal grand jury.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Newton told jurors today that Hively took office with a goal of personal enrichment.  Newton said Hively met that goal by taking payment for reduced or dismissed charges.  Hively is on trial with two co-defendants.

Hively's defense attorney, Tim Dudley, told jurors that the government's evidence would be missing why Hively might have engaged in a criminal enterprise.  He says there's no evidence Hively enriched himself.

Hively was initially brought up on 64 charges, 48 of which were dismissed after a first trial.  The trial now underway in Little Rock is on the 16 remaining counts, including racketeering, extortion and fraud.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)