Prosecutor: Sentence Mellow to the Max

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence former state Senator Robert Mellow to two years in prison for corruption and tax fraud charges.

The 70-year-old retired senator pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing on Friday on the charges related to using his Senate staff to do campaign work for himself and his political allies. He also underreported his income on his 2008 tax return.

US Attorney Peter Smith argued in a memorandum Monday that the Mellow should be sentenced to the maximum time because he not only knew about the fundraising and campaign work, in many instances he directed it.

Smith estimates Mellow’s conduct cost taxpayers $79,806 in salaries that were paid to staff while they did political work on state time. He adds that the most disturbing aspect of the case is that Mellow continued to order the political work even after the convictions of former state Senator Vincent Fumo and former State Representative Jeff Hababy. When a staff member warned Mellow they could go to jail he told the person, “I’m not Fumo; Fumo’s a criminal.”

You can read the memorandum, and see the supporting exhibits, here (PDF)

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