Skip to comments.Munchak, Cordaro sentenced to prison time (NFL coach's father)
Posted on 01/30/2012 4:05:59 PM PST by Born Conservative
Former Lackawanna County commissioners Robert C. Cordaro and A.J. Munchak were sentenced this afternoon to prison for accepting bribes and kickbacks while running the county.
Mr. Cordaro will serve 11 years in prison while Mr. Munchak will serve seven.
Mr. Munchak must report to U.S. Marshals by 2 p.m. on April 3 to begin serving his sentence.
The sentencing drew more than 120 people, including former colleagues, family, friends - and others just interested in the proceeding's outcome.
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo has ruled that the sentencing guidelines for Mr. Cordaro is 188 to 235 months. Earlier, the judge ruled that the sentencing guidelines for Mr. Munchak is 97 to 121 months.
Before sentences are handed down, witnesses are taking the stand on behalf of Mr. Munchak and Mr. Cordaro.
Mr. Munchak's son, Anthony, pleaded for leniency for his father.
"Please don't let my dad spend the rest of his life in jail. That is not where he belongs," he said.
Then the former commissioners took the stand on his own behalf and said listening to the testimony of his son was like listening to his own euology.
"I am begging for mercy," Mr. Munchak said during his 25 minutes of testimony. "I brought shame to my friends. I stained the office of county commissioners."
He also spoke about his illness, noting that doctors told him he might die. Mr. Munchak, who was hospitalized late last week for dizziness and shortness of breath, did not elaborate on his condition.
Mr. Munchak said he understands punishment is coming.
"I know I am convicted of a crime," he said. "I am aware the law requires a punishment, but I've already lost a lot. I'll be remembered only as a convicted county commissioner."
Facing multiple corruption charges, Mr. Cordaro testified that he has no one to blame but himself, while lamenting financial losses and the effect the scandal has had on his family.
I understand I am here today and have no one to blame (but) myself, Mr. Cordaro said.
Mr. Cordaro asked for the court's mercy for his family and that the court delay his sentencing until the end of March so he can see his son perform in a play.
Noting he was a person of some means, Mr. Cordaro said he has lost every material possession and asset I own.
Mr. Cordaro noted that the county was bankrupt when he and Mr. Munchak took office. He said they turned the county around.
He said the prosecution ensures that people will not remember the good works they did.
The former commissioner, however, also noted that the punishment meted out is much more than (my family) can bear.
Mr. Cordaro also said he wants to restore his family's name and will give back to the community after serving his sentence.
Before Mr. Cordaro testified his his oldest son, Michael, addressed the court.
"I could not put into words how grateful I am to my parents," he said.
He added that, "we're all hurting."
The younger Cordaro described his father as a "great man, and it bothers me that the world doesn't know that."
Before heading into the courthouse with his five children, Mr. Cordaro stopped to address the assembled media.
"I think I'm the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. I'm very, very blessed I have my five great children with me. We have endured until now. We will endure beyond this," he said. "There is an appeals system for a reason. And I hope that the judge has some compassion today and recognizes how much this will hurt, not me, my family and friends what they will be forced to face if he gives an excessive substantial sentence. But I will tell you at the same time from my perspective there is only one judgment that matters and it's not by man."
In responding to a reporter's questions, Mr. Cordaro also said. "In terms of association. In terms of placing trust in the wrong people, I made a lot of bad decisions. â¦ it's actions, inactions and associations which led to this. I am the only one to blame for being here today."
Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak took office as the county's majority commissioners in 2004. Mr. Cordaro lost his bid for re-election in 2008, and Mr. Munchak resigned during his second term soon after he was convicted on eight of 21 charges at a federal trial in June.
At the same trial, Mr. Cordaro was found guilty of 18 of the 33 counts against him, including extortion, racketeering and money laundering. Both say they're innocent.
At the trial, jurors heard from a number of witnesses who testified about paying tens of thousands of dollars in kickbacks to Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak in exchange for lucrative country contracts, though both were . Additionally, prosecutors have said both men were implicated in a scheme involving about $1 million in fraud connected to a federal project to build a bus and rail terminal on Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton.
The charges against Mr. Cordaro carry a maximum sentence of 229 years imprisonment and $4.5 million in fines. Mr. Munchak faces up to 93 years in prison and $2 million in fines. But Senior U.S. Judge A. Richard Caputo does not have to follow sentencing guidelines in the cases, so how much time he will give Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak is anyone's guess.
Prosecutors are seeking a 15-year prison sentence for Mr. Munchak and a 20-year sentence against Mr. Cordaro. Mr. Munchak's attorneys are asking for a sentence of no more than three years. Mr. Cordaro's attorney, Peter Goldberger, is asking for a sentence of no more than four years.
Check back to www.citizensvoice.com for updates.
Video at link.
NEPA corruption ping.
Did the NFL Coach do anything to deserve to have his name besmirched by this?
So, did anyone see their party affiliation mentioned?
Nope, but they’re both Republicans.
His father besmirched his name.
“So, did anyone see their party affiliation mentioned?”
I’ll take a wild guess and say Whig.
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