Former Congressman Chaka Fatah sentenced to jail (AP photo)
Anna Orso reports for BillyPenn:
A federal judge sentenced former U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah to spend a decade in prison and pay $614,000 in restitution to victims of corruption charges on which the longtime legislator was convicted this summer.
For 22 years, Fattah represented Pennsylvania’s second congressional district and has long been one of the top politicians in the city of Philadelphia. In open court today, moments before handing down his sentence, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III called Fattah’s crimes “astonishing” and said “political corruption in high places is a grave matter.
“Those in high places,” Bartle said, “will certainly know what happened in this courtroom today.”
The judge said Fattah is to surrender into federal custody on Jan. 25; however, his attorneys have indicated they will appeal his conviction and asked for bail pending that appeal.
Fattah said during a brief statement to the court that he regrets some of his decisions that led to criminal charges, saying the investigation and the trial has been the “most disappointing” event in his life. He first asked the judge for leniency for his co-defendants, and then said he has “regret” for his constituents.