WASHINGTON (AP) — Jack Abramoff, the once powerful lobbyist at the heart of a far-reaching political corruption scandal, was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday by a judge who said the case had shattered the public’s confidence in government.
Abramoff, who fought back tears as he declared himself a broken man, appeared crestfallen as the judge handed down a sentence lengthier than prosecutors had sought.
Over the past three years, Abramoff has come to symbolize corruption and the secret deals cut between lobbyists and politicians in back rooms or on golf courses or private jets. The scandal shook Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Capitol Hill and contributed to the Republicans’ loss of Congress in 2006.
“I come before you as a broken man,” Abramoff said at his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle. “I’m not the same man who happily and arrogantly engaged in a lifestyle of political and business corruption.”
He added later that, “My name is the butt of a joke, the source of a laugh and the title of a scandal.” By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer