Doug Thompson, who is covering the trial of former Republican state Sen. Jon Woods on 15 corruption charges, reports in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that potential witnesses in the trial include state Auditor Andrea Lea, state Treasurer Dennis Milligan and state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb.

Woods, who represented Springdale, is accused of taking kickbacks from General Improvement Fund grants totaling more than half a million dollars to Ecclesia College in Springdale and then-president Oren Paris III, who disguised the kickbacks as consulting fees to an intermediary, Randall Shelton.

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Also on the witness list: Other current and former state legislators who directed GIF funds to Ecclesia, including Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs), Sen. Bryan King (R-Green Forest), Rep. Bob Ballinger (R-Berryville), Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville), Rep. Dan Douglas (R-Bentonville) and former state Rep. Duncan Baird (R-Lowell).

Thompson reports that “about 70” prospective jurors were called today in the trial, which is being held in federal court in Fayetteville.


CORRECTION: Sen. King and Rep. Douglas did not grant money to Ecclesia.