Broussard sentenced to 46 months

Feb. 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Louisiana politician Aaron Broussard was sentenced to 46 months in prison on bribery charges, his ex-wife and former parish attorney receiving probation.

Broussard, 64, was president of Jefferson Parish, La., from 1993 until his resignation in 2010, when his administration collapsed in corruption, The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans reported Monday.

He admitted conspiring with former parish attorney Tom Wilkinson to put Broussard's ex-wife, Karen Parker, on the public payroll in a position for which she was unqualified and did little work.

In exchange for that action, and for helping a Broussard relative gain admission to a private school where Wilkerson was a board member, Broussard gave Wilkerson a series of pay raises.

Broussard also admitting taking $66,000 in bribes from businessman Bill Mack to gain government contracts, the newspaper said.

The sentences by U.S. District Judge Hayden Head Jr., were less than what prosecutors sought. In the trial Head questioned how some of the bribery charges were counted and referred to the scheme as "sophomoric." The judge also said he viewed the series of payments from Mack to Broussard as a single bribe, for purposes of sentencing.

Before the sentencing Broussard told the court, "I accept full responsibility for the actions I have pleaded guilty to," and said he regretted "bringing dishonor to my position."

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