Arkansas ex-judge cannot withdraw guilty plea, court rules

Arkansas ex-judge cannot withdraw guilty plea, court rules

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A judge has denied a request from a former Arkansas circuit judge to withdraw his guilty plea on a federal bribery charge.

Federal judge Brian Miller issued his ruling Thursday and scheduled Michael Maggio's sentencing for March 24. Miller said the federal bribery law was correctly applied in Maggio's case and that there was sufficient evidence against Maggio and that the state judge likely understood the charge when pleading guilty last year.

Miller asked attorneys in the case whether the bribery statute was correctly applied. Maggio's attorney James Hensley had argued the alleged bribe was not related to government business.

Maggio was accused of accepting campaign donations from the owner of a nursing home company and reducing a jury award against that company by millions of dollars in a civil lawsuit.

This story has been corrected to restore the first reference for Michael Maggio.

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