DETROIT, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle, sentenced to 37 months in prison for bribery and extortion, vowed to return to politics when he is released.
"You can shackle my arms, you can shackle my feet, but you can't shackle my soul," Riddle, 64, said in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
He vowed to teach the next generation of politicians and aides to avoid his mistakes.
"I learned this the hard way: If you sniff it out and it don't smell right, don't turn your head the other way," the Detroit Free Press quoted him as saying.
U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani said the bribery and extortion Riddle committed while he was an aide to then-Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers didn't "pass the smell test" to the court and she ordered him to serve the maximum sentence. His lawyers had asked for 24 months.
Conyers is serving 37 months for accepting bribes in exchange for her vote on a $1.2 billion sludge deal.
Battani said Riddle deserved 37 months too because he was an "active participant" in the public corruption, not just a "bagman" he tried to convince Battani he was.
"You have impressed me from Day One as being a person who possesses a great amount of intelligence," she said. This made Riddle "more responsible than someone who is just a follower," she said.