FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The three defendants accused in a kickback scheme with state grants in northwest Arkansas have renewed their not guilty pleas to a revised indictment.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that former state Sen. Jon Woods, Ecclesia College President Oren Paris III and consultant Randell Shelton Jr. entered not guilty pleas Wednesday to charges, including conspiracy to commit fraud.

They were charged in a federal indictment in March for allegedly taking part in a scheme in which Woods directed state money to the college in return for kickbacks from 2013 to 2014.

Defense attorneys also filed a motion Monday alleging the government isn’t providing them useable electronic records. Prosecution spokesman Charles Robbins says the prosecution is preparing a reply to the defense’s motion.

The three are scheduled for trial Dec. 4.


This story has been corrected to show the defense’s motion was filed on Monday, not Wednesday.


Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.nwaonline.com