Jury clears ex-Arkansas senator of bribery conspiracy charge

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal jury has acquitted a former Arkansas lawmaker who was accused of conspiring to bribe an ex-judge who admitted to lowering a jury’s award in a negligence lawsuit in exchange for campaign contributions. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that jurors on Thursday deadlocked on another bribery charge and seven wire fraud charges against former state Sen. Gilbert Baker. Baker was accused of conspiring with former state Judge Michael Maggio, who admitted to accepting campaign donations from a nursing home operator, then reducing a judgment against that company by $4.2 million. Baker is a former chairman of the state Republican Party.

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