Former Rep. Chaka Fattah to seek reduction in 10-year sentence

An appeals court scrapped four of Fattah's 29 corruption charges in May

Ex-Rep. Chaka Fattah is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Pennsylvania. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Ex-Rep. Chaka Fattah is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Pennsylvania. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted July 12, 2019 at 9:12am

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah will ask a judge Friday for a reduction in his 10-year prison stay for corruption.

Fattah, who has served 2½ years in a medium security prison in western Pennsylvania, will argue his sentence should be cut because an appeals court recently tossed out convictions on four public corruption charges, The Associated Press reported.

But prosecutors believe Fattah, who represented Pennsylvania’s old 2nd District from 1995 to 2016, is not likely to receive a reduced sentence at his resentencing.

In June 2016, a federal jury found the Democrat guilty of all 29 counts laid out in the Justice Department’s indictment, including racketeering, bribery, conspiracy and fraud.

The longtime Pennsylvania politician took bribes, stole charitable donations and campaign contributions and misused federal grant money under his control after taking on debt in an unsuccessful run for the Philadelphia mayor’s office in 2007, prosecutors said. The case largely centered around a $1 million campaign loan during the mayoral bid.

In May of this year, an appeals court judge ruled that the district court judge in the trial in which Fattah was convicted did not give the jury adequate instructions on what constitutes “official acts,” and scrapped four of the convictions. 

His lawyers will also tell the judge that the former ranking member on the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees science spending hopes to start a firm focused on brain science research called “Fattah Neuroscience Global Advisors,” according to the AP. 

While in Congress Fattah sought more funding for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health for neuroscience research.

U.S. attorneys will push back on the request, arguing that his “egregious” abuse of his power as a member of Congress justifies 120 concurrent months in prison.

Griffin Connolly contributed to this report.

Loading the player...