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The Latest Lawmaker nephew of Arkansas governor resigning

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Latest on the lawmaker nephew of Arkansas’ governor facing federal fraud charges (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Attorneys say a nephew of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson plans to resign from the state senate to focus on defending himself from corruption charges.

Attorneys for Republican state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson Attorneys on Friday called the new accusations that he had spent campaign funds on personal expenses, including a Caribbean cruise and tuition payments, inaccurate. But they say he’s stepping down so that Capitol business can proceed without “unnecessary distraction.”

Federal prosecutors announced earlier Friday that Jeremy Hutchinson is charged with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns. He issued a statement saying he plans to defend himself against the charges.

Hutchinson announced last year that he wouldn’t seek re-election this year. He is the latest in a string of Arkansas legislators to face accusations of corruption.

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12:50 p.m.

An Arkansas state senator who is a nephew of the governor has been charged with spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including a Caribbean cruise, tuition payments and groceries.

Federal prosecutors on Friday announced that Republican state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is charged with eight counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns. They allege that he tried to hide the theft by falsifying campaign finance reports and tax filings.

Hutchinson, who is a nephew of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, is scheduled to appear in court on September 18. He didn’t immediately reply to a Friday phone message seeking comment.

Hutchinson is the latest in a string of Arkansas legislators to face accusations of corruption. None of the others are still serving in the Legislature.