Former judge who took bribe gets 10-year prison sentence

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The former Arkansas judge who made headlines for admitting he accepted a bribe in exchange for reducing a judgment against a nursing home was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday.

Michael Maggio admitted last year to accepting a $50,000 campaign donation from nursing home owner Michael Morton, in exchange for dropping a judgment against Morton's Greenbrier Nursing and Rehabilitation Center from $5.2 million to $1 million. The judgment stemmed from a 2008 lawsuit filed by the family of a resident alleging negligence and abuse at the facility.

At the time of the penalty reduction, Maggio said the jury in the case was swayed by inflammatory testimony, and that the original $5.2 award was excessive and “shocked the conscience of the court.”

Last month Maggio asked that his guilty plea in the case be withdrawn, claiming that his previous attorneys had wrongly advised him to plead guilty. A judge denied that request earlier this month.

Maggio is set to report to prison for his sentence on May 23.