Arkansas ex-judge to be sentenced in federal bribery case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former judge in Arkansas is set to be sentenced in federal court Thursday after he admitted lowering a jury award in a civil lawsuit in exchange for campaign donations from a nursing home operator.

Prosecutors are recommending a 10-year prison sentence for Michael Maggio, who pleaded guilty last year to a federal bribery charge. Maggio’s attorneys are seeking probation for their client, saying he has suffered “personal, professional and political destruction” over the past two years.

Prosecutors accused Maggio of accepting a $50,000 campaign donation two days before reducing a jury’s $5.2 million award to $1 million.

Maggio was permanently removed from the bench in September 2014 for making inappropriate comments in an online forum, including the disclosure of confidential details about an adoption involving actress Charlize Theron’s child.