Former State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson should spend four years in prison for her corruption conviction, federal prosecutors said in court papers filed late Friday.
Wilkerson, who was captured on video stuffing an apparent bribe into her sweater, pleaded guilty in June to eight counts of attempted extortion, as part of a deal with prosecutors.
In a sentencing memorandum filed Friday, prosecutors argue for a sentence that is more severe than what’s recommended by sentencing guidelines.
“Wilkerson repeatedly demonstrated that she believed that she was above the law,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. McNeil. "A sentence of 48 months’ incarceration is necessary to reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s crime and to promote respect for the law,”
To support an upward departure in sentencing, the memorandum cites past legal problems. They include numerous campaign finance violations and a tax evasion conviction in 1997.
Lawyers for Wilkerson submitted a separate memorandum that requests a downward departure in sentencing.
“The defendant has full accepted responsibility for her actions,” wrote attorney Max Stern. “(The) defendant’s conduct was never motivated by a desire to enrich herself, and she never did. As she comes before the Court for sentencing, she owns no property, no savings, no life insurance, no pension.”
The memorandum also argues that past good work in the community and family obligations merit consideration of a lighter sentence. It says Wilkerson is now the sole caregiver for her 75-year-old mother, who is mentally ill.
This program aired on November 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.