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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Slush Fund Scandal Gets Bronx Councilman Five Years
Former Bronx City Councilman Miguel Martinez was sentenced today to five years' imprisonment by Manhattan Federal District Judge Paul Crotty for three felony charges connected to the two-years-old and ongoing federal criminal investigation of the use of the City Council's discretionary spending, also known as the "slush fund" scandal.
Compared to the New Jersey corruption sentences -- and even the sentence handed down to former Connecticut Governor John Rowland -- this sentence seems strict. Martinez is also significantly younger than his older and much more long-serving counterparts in neighboring states. It's actually not that much less of a sentence than the sentence handed down to perhaps the biggest player in the most major recent corruption scandal, that being Jack Abramoff. (However, I note that former Congressman Randy Cunningham got ten years and the Louisiana congressman who put some money in his freezer -- his name escapes me today -- got twelve years.)
I note: The investigation is continuing. I believe there is every reason to expect more people to be charged.
I also note that Martinez has not been a "cooperator." Not yet. Perhaps the sentence is -- unofficially -- a way to induce his "cooperation."