Michael Maggio

Former judge to start prison sentence after taking a bribe to reduce lawsuit award amount

A former Arkansas judge is scheduled to start his prison sentence on Wednesday for a 2013 bribery incident.

Michael Maggio, 53, of Conway, was convicted earlier this year of taking a bribe to reduce the jury award amount against a nursing home owner in a 2013 lawsuit. In exchange, he wanted campaign contributions. Maggio pleaded guilty, then tried unsuccessfully to get the guilty plea removed.

Maggio’s lawyer, John Wesley Hall, is seeking a one-week delay before his client turns himself in, in order to “seek a rehearing from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.” While federal prosecutors fight the new motion, U.S. District Judge Brian Miller said that a warrant will be taken out for Maggio’s arrest if he doesn’t turn himself into authorities by 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

BREAKING: Former Arkansas judge Michael Maggio has been ordered to begin serving his 10-year prison sentence after an appeals court upheld his bribery conviction.

Posted by KATV Channel 7 on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

Maggio reduced a $5.2 million jury verdict against Michael Morton, owner of a Greenbrier nursing home. Morton was sued when nursing home resident died after she wasn’t sent to a hospital for medical treatment. The lawsuit noted that she died “in agony.” Court documents revealed that Maggio made the reduction right around the same time that Morton started making campaign contributions for Maggio’s upcoming run for the Court of Appeals.

When authorities discovered the bribe, Maggio dropped out of the political race, but claimed it was related to demeaning comments he made online about women.

It’s still unclear whether the defense’s motion for a delay will be granted. Check back with Crime Online as additional information becomes available.

[Feature Photo: Handout]