Witness says Martha Shoffner thought 'she was above the law'

Witness Cord Rapert
Witness Cord Rapert

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A Jonesboro man is a witness in the Martha Shoffner trial and on Thursday evening, he expressed his thoughts on the incident.

Testimony began Thursday in the trial of former State Treasurer Martha Shoffner. Her defense attorneys said she should not be faced with criminal charges, but instead should battle ethics violations only.

One of the witnesses in the case, Cord Rapert told Region 8 News that the courtroom did not seem to go how Shoffner wanted.

"I don't think it is working. I think their defense is just falling apart," said Rapert. "They don't have much to work with."

Jurors listened to dry testimony on Thursday, as state employees explained their jobs.

They also detailed the specifics of bond trades including, some of the same trades that allegedly doubled what broker Steele Stephens was able to invest.

Rapert had some strong words about Shoffner and her claims.

"The defense is playing a classic Martha Shoffner. They are trying to blame it on everyone else except her. She's the one with her hand in the cookie jar and of course they are trying to make it look as if someone else has put her up to this. Having worked for her and being around her that's been her M.O. for years, 'just pass the buck' instead of, 'the buck stops here.'

Shoffner faces charges for extortion and bribery for allegedly taking $36,000 dollars from Stephens in exchange for steering state business his way.

Although he wasn't able to sit in the testimony Thursday Rapert did have some advice for Shoffner.

"I think Martha should be preparing herself for a guilty verdict. I think the people of Arkansas are going to demand it, not only because she has been caught red-handed, but people expect more of their elected officials."

Trial is back next week.

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