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Former Arkansas lawmaker sentenced to 3 years' probation

Former Rep. Micah Neal was sentenced Thursday to probation. (Photo courtesy: Arkansas State Legislature)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- A former Arkansas state representative has been sentenced to three years' probation for his role in a bribery scheme.

Former Rep. Micah Neal was sentenced Thursday to probation, the first year of which he must serve under house arrest. Neal also must complete 300 hours of community service and pay $200,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors said Neal and former state Sen. Jon Woods directed state funds to two nonprofits in exchange for kickbacks which were funneled through a consulting company. Neal pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.

Neal's sentence is significantly lighter than his three co-conspirators'. Woods was sentenced last week to 18 years in prison.

Arkansas Business reports the judge granted prosecutors' request for leniency, citing Neal's extensive cooperation.

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