Former Senate Democratic Leader Bob Mellow has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for using official staffers to conduct campaign work.
He also filed a fraudulent tax form that undervalued a property he sold.
Mellow plead guilty to the charges in the spring, and could have been sentenced to up to 5 years in prison. The plea deal was designed to minimize the public disclosure of the investigation against the former Senator.
He’ll also have to pay almost $120,000 in restitution. He had previously been stripped of his state pension; he is appealing that decision.
From the Scranton Times-Tribune:
A tearful Mr. Mellow apologized and begged the court for mercy. His attorneys said he has heart disease, and that his 40-year career in public service, a need to care for an ill adult daughter and record of charity should earn Mr. Mellow probation rather than prison time.
U.S. District Judge Joel H. Slomsky said Mr. Mellow’s age and civic and charity work do not excuse his crimes. He said Mr. Mellow “did a lot of good,” but that his sentence had to serve as a deterrent to other who might break the law.
He’s the latest Pa. lawmaker and caucus leader to face prison time over similar activity, following former House Speakers Bill DeWeese (D) and John Perzel (R). Likewise State Sen. Jane Orie (R).
Mellow, 68, was elected to the Pa. Senate in 1970 and served until 2010.
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Wasn’t Congressman Tim Murphy under investigation with the federal government for using his office for his campaign?
And when do you think Mark Critz will come under investigation for his role in the military version of a Penn State sex scandal?
I beleive that SERS has taken action to stop his pension.
That’s such a light sentence, it’s almost a joke.
Do the taxpayers of Pennsylvania still have to pay his lucrative pension? If so, the signal this sends is that crime DOES pay!