The United States Supreme Court today denied a request to hear an appeal of Ted Suhl’s conviction for bribing an Arkansas Human Services Department official to help his behavioral treatment business.

The denial was one of a long list issued as the court opened its fall term.


Suhl, who operated both residential and community-based services for youths, was convicted in July 2016 and sentenced to seven years for funneling money to Steven Jones, a former legislator and top DHS official. Jones pleaded guilty and served a federal sentence. The money passed through a West Memphis church and local politician. Suhl contended he’d just made charitable contributions. He argued that the government hadn’t proved a specific quid pro quo, though the trial court and 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the jury was instructed under a law making it a crime to attempt to influence a public servant.

Suhl’s case had drawn support from a prominent conservative lawyer, James Bopp, a key player in the Citizens United ruling on money in politics.


The case against Jones and Suhl ended Medicaid funding of his businesses and they were forced to close.

Here’s Suhl’s argument for Supreme Court review. It says Suhl was merely seeking goodwill from Jones, not attempting bribery.


Suhl is serving his sentence at the federal medical center in Springfield, Mo. His release date is Feb. 5, 2023.