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Sun Jan 8, 2017, 07:55 PM

Former congressman seeks to delay prison term amid appeal

Source: Associated Press

Former congressman seeks to delay prison term amid appeal

Jan. 8, 2017 2:37 PM EST

PHILADELPHIA (AP) A longtime congressman set to start a 10-year prison term this month has petitioned a U.S. appeals court to let him remain free while he appeals his racketeering conviction.

Former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Philadelphia Democrat, said he expects to win a new trial over errors during his five-defendant trial this year, including the dismissal of a holdout juror.

Fattah also argues his case could be overturned in keeping with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that narrowed the legal definition of bribery in overturning the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. The court said there was no evidence McDonnell did anything more than meet with a businessman who had given him gifts.

However, the trial judge in Fattah's case noted that Fattah had sought an ambassadorship for a friend who gave him money and put his girlfriend on the payroll in a "low-show" job. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle, in denying Fattah's request to remain free pending appeal, also noted that 13 other counts don't involve bribery.

Fattah, 60, was convicted in June of using more than $600,000 in government grants and nonprofit funds on personal and campaign expenses. Four friends or former aides were convicted of related charges.

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Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/b162646457af4a00b19307cdbbbfe34d/former-congressman-seeks-delay-prison-term-amid-appeal

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