Ex-Ald. Willie Cochran Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison

Former Chicago Ald. Willie Cochran has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges.

Judge Jorge Alonso sentenced the former 20th Ward alderman in a hearing Monday, during which Cochran was surrounded by dozens of supporters as he asked for leniency.

Alonso denied Cochran's attorney's earlier request not to send him to prison, saying probation and home confinement "would not protect the public from future crimes."

Attorney Christopher T. Grohman argued earlier this month against prison time for the 67-year-old, telling a federal judge that previous prison sentences for nearly three dozen Chicago City council members have "not done anything to curb Chicago's tidal wave of aldermanic corruption cases."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Grohman instead asked the judge for probation with six months of home confinement for Cochran.

Cochran pleaded guilty in March to one felony count of wire fraud for spending campaign funds on personal purchases, including his daughter's college tuition. The admission ended the former police officer's City Council career.

Following Cochran's prison sentence, the judge ordered two years of supervised release. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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