PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - A former Arkansas lawmaker who became Jefferson County’s chief administrative officer after leaving the Legislature will resign after a federal prosecutor revealed he had received $100,000 in bribes while serving in state government, according to a newspaper report.
The Pine Bluff Commercial reported that County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV sent a resignation letter to the governor, effective Thursday.
“This letter shall serve as notice of my intent to resign the Office of County Judge of Jefferson County, Arkansas,” Wilkins wrote to the governor. “I am profoundly sorry that my own actions make this resignation necessary.”
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported last week that Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mohlhenrich said in a Missouri courtroom Friday that Wilkins admitted his Pine Bluff church had taken money from indicted lobbyist Milton Russell Cranford while Wilkins was in the Arkansas Legislature. Wilkins has not been charged with a crime. Cranford has been charged in Missouri with public corruption.
In exchange for the contributions, authorities said, Cranford counted on Wilkins’ support while he served in the state Legislature from 2011 to 2015.
Wilkins did not return calls left for him at his county office and on his cellphone Monday. Wilkins said last month he wouldn’t seek re-election, citing a chance to pursue other opportunities.
In Arkansas, county judges are the chief administrative officers of county government - not judicial officials.
Wilkins’ office referred callers to the governor’s office, which said Monday afternoon it had not received a resignation letter from Wilkins.
Information from: Pine Bluff Commercial, http://www.pbcommercial.com
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