- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former Arkansas Senate president has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to spending more than $150,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller also sentenced former lawmaker Paul Bookout on Wednesday to two years of supervised release and ordered him to repay $150,000. Bookout pleaded guilty last year to a federal wire fraud charge for spending campaign funds on clothing, liquor, a sound system and other personal items.

Bookout is a Democrat from Jonesboro who was elected to the Senate in 2006 to replace his late father, Jerry Bookout.

In a court filing, Bookout’s attorney had argued for probation or home detention, saying that the former lawmaker had no criminal history and had cooperated with investigators.

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