From the Sun-Sentinel-
WEST PALM BEACH -- A federal judge on Friday sentenced former Palm Beach County Commissioner Tony Masilotti to five years in federal prison for using his public office to orchestrate secret land deals -- but allowed Masilotti to remain free for 45 days until he has to surrender to authorities.Knucklehead Masilotti got off lightly. He deserves a lot more time in jail. Five years for ten million? Doesn't that seem warped also to you also?
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp allowed Masilotti to delay his sentence in order to care for his sick 11-year-old daughter, Julie, whom defense lawyers said is entering a residential treatment program in Illinois. They did not specify the illness.
The judge also said he'd recommend Masilotti be placed in an alcohol treatment program in prison, which would reduce his sentence one year.
The five-year sentence was the maximum under a plea deal between Masilotti and federal prosecutors. He also has paid nearly $10 million in fines and forfeited property.
Masilotti apologized for his actions in brief comments to the judge, in a voice so low it could barely be heard from a few yards away.
"My life is in your hands," he told the judge, later adding: "I just ask for your mercy in your sentencing."
A federal investigation into Masilotti unveiled a six-year conspiracy in which the veteran politician took free plane trips to the Bahamas from a developer friend, accepted a political payoff to satisfy a gambling debt, and persistently used his power to advance land deals that enriched him and his family. He gleaned nearly $10 million from illicit land deals, according to the investigation.
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