Ex-Jersey City official gets 3 years in corruption sting
Former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini has been sentenced to three years in prison for corruption.
Beldini told the judge she just had heart surgery, is 75 years old and isn't sure if she'll survive prison.
Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy called Beldini's sentence "a death sentence" because of her age and health issues. He says the punishment was too harsh and that he hopes there will be an appeal. In February, Beldini was convicted on two counts of bribery for accepting $20,000 in illegal campaign donations. She was the first person convicted in cases stemming from New Jersey's largest federal corruption and money-laundering sting.
Beldini was one of 46 people arrested in the corruption sting last July. Seventeen have pleaded guilty and one other person was convicted by a jury. Beldini's prison sentence is two times longer than anyone else's.
U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares also ordered Beldini to pay a $30,000 fine and to report to prison by Aug. 2.