Sentencing for former Jefferson County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV has been moved back to January 30, 2019.
On April 30, Wilkins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accepting over $80,000 in bribes during his time with the Arkansas Legislature.
Wilkins had been scheduled for sentencing on December 6, but in mid-November, Federal District Judge Brian Miller signed an order to continue the sentencing hearing after both attorneys for Wilkins and the government filed joint motions asking for the delay.
Officials say Wilkins, who resigned as county judge in March, told federal investigators in February that he took money from an indicted lobbyist while still in the state legislature. He served in the Arkansas House and Senate between 1999 and 2015.
In entering the plea, Wilkins acknowledged that while a state lawmaker from 2010 to 2014, he accepted a series of bribes from lobbyists and nonprofit organizations and, in exchange, voted for specific legislation and steered about $245,000 to entities that funneled bribes to the former judge through his church, St. James United Methodist Church, where he served as pastor before stepping down in 2017.
After Wilkins resigned as county judge, the Jefferson County Quorum Court selected Booker Clemons to fill the remainder of Wilkins’ term. Current Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson, who defeated former County Judge Dutch King in the May Democratic Primary, will be sworn in as the new county judge on January 1.
The charge of conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States carries a maximum penalty of not more than five years in prison, not more than a fine of $250,000, and not more than three years supervised release (probation).