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Justice

FBI agent admits error in ex-senator corruption case

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The lead FBI investigator in the corruption case of a former Arkansas state senator says he acted improperly when he had a computer used to collect evidence wiped clean.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that secretly recorded conversations between former state Sen. Jon Woods and former state Rep. Micah Neal were the focus of a Thursday hearing in U.S. District Court.

FBI Special Agent Robert Cessario testifies that the audio files downloaded using the laptop were transferred to discs and provided to attorneys in 2016 before the computer was wiped. Cessario says his intent wasn't to conceal or obscure the evidence, but to ensure personal medical records the laptop contained were gone.

Woods and Neal are accused of taking kickbacks in return for steering $550,000 in state grants to Ecclesia College in Springdale.

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