John Lovett reports for the Times Record in Fort Smith that former Republican Sen. Jake Files reported Thursday to serve an 18-month federal prison sentence for stealing state General Improvement Fund money.

Files checked in about noon at the federal prison in El Reno, Okla.


He’s the first GIF thief to go to prison, but there are more to come. Sentencing is later this month for former Democratic Sen. Hank Wilkins and sentencing is set in September for former Republican Sen. Jon Woods and two former represenatives, Republican Micah Neal and Democrat Eddie Cooper. Several other current or former legislators remain under investigation in the public corruption probe, which has also netted officials of service providers who participated in illegal spending and kickbacks of state money.

Also remaining under investigation is an unexplained wire transfer of $80,000 Files received from a nursing home owner while he was trying to salvage his failing construction business. Files backed measures supported by the nursing home lobby to limit their exposure to lawsuits.