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Sentencing for Pennsylvania official on federal charges

Some readers will be familiar with the legal troubles of a former head of redevelopment for Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The man, now 64 years of age, was accused of multiple bribery and extortion schemes while serving in that position. He was recently sentenced on those charges, following his conviction in July of this year.

Authorities asserted that the man received approximately $130,000 from an agency that worked with the redevelopment authority. Those funds were classified as "consulting fees," and led to the loss of the man's job. Criminal charges were never filed in that matter, but an investigation was initiated. The end result would be federal criminal charges. 

The prosecution claimed that the man continued to receive benefits from contractors and vendors associated with redevelopment projects. He was accused of extorting wealth and items of value that included a new roof for his home and additional construction services. A jury found him guilty of those charges, although the man claimed in court that he intended to pay for those services but was never billed.

During the sentencing, many people from the community showed up to show their support for the man, who went on from his former position to work as a consultant and grant writer. Many more submitted written testimonials during the trial. The judge in the case handed down a sentence that was nine months short of the recommended guidelines. There is no word on whether the Pennsylvania man will appeal the conviction on those charges, or the resulting sentence.   

Source: lancasteronline.com, "Ex-redevelopment official gets federal prison for bribery", Joe Mandak, Dec. 8, 2015

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