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May 21, 2013: Arkansas State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who has faced questions about her management of state investments, was arrested on federal extortion charges on Saturday, May 18, 2013, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to The Associated Press. She was initially held at the Pulaski County Jail. FBI Spokesman Kimberly Brunell said Shoffner was arrested Saturday afternoon, May 18, at her home in Newport and was scheduled for a federal court hearing yesterday, Monday, May 20, 2013, in Little Rock. Brunell said Shoffner was arrested on charges of extortion. Shoffner, a Democrat in her second term as State Treasurer, has faced questions during the past year about the way her office has handled state investments. Legislative auditors in 2012 questioned Shoffner's selling of bonds before they matured, a practice that they said cost the state more than $434,000 worth of earnings. The sale of the bonds early resulted in a net economic loss, with Arkansas losing earnings it would have made had Shoffner's office held on to the bonds, auditors said. The largest net loss, more than $783,000, came from eight transactions with St. Bernard Financial Services, Inc., a Russellville-based company where Shoffner's office has purchased the bulk of its bonds, according to the AP. The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee in December, 2012, voted to refer its review of 30 bond transactions by Shoffner's office to state and federal law enforcement. It was unclear on May 18 whether Shoffner's arrest was related to that audit. The findings were the result of an expanded review of Shoffner's investments after auditors in September, 2012, said that her practice of selling bonds before they matured resulted in a net loss of $58,000 to the state, the AP reported. Lawmakers issued a subpoena for Shoffner to answer questions about the investments after she initially didn't appear before the audit panel. Shoffner has said she didn't believe investigators would find anything improper with her office, but vowed to make changes to address the problems cited by auditors. Shoffner said her office would no longer sell bonds before they matured, according to AP.
May 21, 2013: James Craig has been hired as the Detroit Police Chief by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Mayor Dave Bing, according to MLive.com. Craig, 56, is currently the Cincinnati Police Chief.
May 21, 2013: Alan Freeman has announced that he plans to resign as the Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services on Friday, May 31, 2013. Freeman is returning to his post as the president and chief executive officer of Grace Hill Health Centers, Inc. Brian Kinkade, the Social Services Department’s Deputy Director, has been appointed as the department’s Acting Director, effective on June 1, 2013. A native of Independence, Kinkade's career at the Social Services Department spans five administrations. Before he was the Deputy Director and then Acting Director of the department, Kinkade directed the Division of Budget and Finance and the Division of Child Support Enforcement. Kinkade was previously the Executive Director for the Missouri Public Service Commission. He started his career with the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee as a Budget Analyst.
May 21, 2013: Stacie Seger was appointed as a Student Member of the Ohio State University Board of Trustees by Gov. John Kasich on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Seger, of Minster in Shelby County, was appointed for a term that starts on Thursday, May 16, 2013, and ends on May 13, 2015.
May 21, 2013: The Board of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange voted on Friday, May 17, 2013, to temporarily become a hybrid state and federal exchange, with the state enrolling businesses and the federal exchange enrolling individuals, according to Albuquerque Business First. Board Members agree that the state didn’t have time to do both by the October 1, 2013, deadline. Newly-appointed Exchange Acting Chief Executive Officer Mike Nunez told Board Bembers the plan is for the state to start enrolling people in October, 2014.
May 21, 2013: New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, Brooklyn Democrat, who is accused of sexual harassment by female staffers, resigned yesterday, Monday, May 20, 2013—before proceedings were expected to start to expel Lopez from office, according to The New York Times and The Associated Press. Lopez, 72, had previously announced last week that he would resign on June 20, 2013, at the end of the current legislative session. Lopez said he also plans to run for the New York City Council. Lopez has denied the harassment charges. Lopez held his seat since 1984. “I hereby resign the public office of Member of the Assembly from the 53rd Assembly District, Kings County, effective 9 a.m. Monday, May 20, 2013,” Lopez said in a statement. Reports from New York Special Prosecutor Daniel Donovan and the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics detailed allegations involving four female staffers who worked with Lopez.
May 21, 2013: President Obama intends to assign U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti to receive his fourth star and to succeed Army Gen. James D. Thurman as the Commander of U.S. Forces in Korea, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday, May 17, 2013, according to the American Forces Press Service. Thurman, who has held the post since July, 2011, is retiring from the military. Scaparrotti is currently the Director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.