The former mayor of the Chicago suburb of Niles has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for taking thousands of dollars in exchange for steering businesses to a friend's insurance agency.
Nicholas Blase could have gotten more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud and dodging taxes. But federal Judge Wayne Andersen gave him a break because the 81-year-old former mayor is in frail health.
Andersen says he didn't want to see Blase die in prison.
Blase was mayor of Niles for 47 years before he resigned amid scandal. He told the court his own greed caused the problem.
"I abused that trust," Blase told the courtroom, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I took money I had no business taking."
He's to begin serving his sentence on March 1.