Wednesday, July 20, 2005
U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson sentenced former Philadelphia Treasurer Corey Kemp to a ten-year term of imprisonment for his conviction on conspiracy and right of honest services fraud charges. Kemp was one of five defendants charged in a wide-ranging indictment that included "pay-to-play" counts, along with perjury and false statement charges. Kemp was the highest ranking city official charged in the case that included a bug placed in the office of Philadelphia Mayor John Street, who has never been charged with any crimes as a result of the investigation. Kemp's attorney said at the hearing that "[h]e simply played the pay-to-play game."
The U.S. Attorney's Office recommended a 97-month term of imprisonment, the maximum based on the Sentencing Guidelines (see Philadelphia Inquirer story here), but the judge imposed a more severe sentence because of Kemp's high position in the city's government. In a move usually not seen in white collar crime cases, Baylson denied Kemp's requests for bail pending appeal and to set a reporting date after the sentencing, ordering Kemp to begin serving his term immediately. Kemp was escorted from the courtroom after the hearing in handcuffs by U.S. Marshals. Judge Baylson sentenced another defendant in the case, Janice Knight, to five and one-half months in prison for her conviction on false statement charges, and permitted her to remain free on bail pending appeal. Sentencing for the two Commerce Bank executives convicted of conspiracy charges with Kemp will not take place until October, and it will be interesting to see whether they receive substantial sentences for participating in the corruption. A Philadelphia Inquirer story (here) discusses the sentencing of Kemp, and thanks to Peter Goldberger for passing along the information about the sentencing. (ph)