Ex-senator Bookout pleads guilty in Arkansas federal court

Ex-senator Bookout pleads guilty in Arkansas federal court


Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - A former Arkansas state senator has pleaded guilty to a federal mail fraud charge connected to his spending more than $150,000 from a campaign fund.

Paul Bookout of Jonesboro entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors said Bookout spent campaign money on clothing, a sound system, liquor and other personal items while claiming it was going toward legitimate political expenses.

A sentencing hearing is pending. He faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though under sentencing guidelines terms could be much less.

Bookout was elected to the state Senate in 2006 to replace his late father and was re-elected in 2010 and 2012.

The Democrat stepped down in 2013 after the Arkansas Ethics Commission fined him for improperly spending campaign money. He declined comment.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

To read the plea summary from the office of the U.S. Attorney/Eastern District of Arkansas, click here. (Mobile users, click here).