Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

Former State Democratic Leader Sentenced to Prison for Corruption

A federal judge has sentenced former Democratic state Senator Robert Mellow to 16 months in prison for corruption charges.

On Friday, the judge also ordered Mellow to pay nearly $80,000 in restitution to the state Senate, along with a $40,000 fine to the federal government.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky orders Mellow, long one of the most powerful figures in state government, to have supervised release after his prison sentence as well.

Mellow, whose portrait hangs in the state Capitol, was charged with using his own Senate staff and staffers for other Democratic senators to run political campaigns, in violation of state law. He pleaded guilty to the felony charges in May.

The former Senator represented Scranton and the surrounding areas in Luzerne, Lackawanna and Monroe Counties for four decades, beginning in 1970. He decided not to seek reelection in 2010.

Judge Slomsky called the case a "tragedy" because Mellow had spent 40 years as an effective public servant and was a devoted friend and father.