On Wednesday, a 2-year prison sentence was handed down to ex-Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey. This sentence serves as part of a more extensive investigation and effort to crackdown on corruption in the city of Detroit.
To set an example of no tolerance for corruption, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts, handed down a 2-year prison sentence, despite Spivey's plea for probation instead. Roberts stood by her conviction and said serving prison time would deter other officials from corruption.
“This wasn't a mild case of corruption,” Roberts said. “The court believes there is no public official who would respect the law that says it is illegal to take bribes if Mr. Spivey walked out of this courtroom with no jail time.”
There was a silver lining for Spivey. Roberts said Spivey could delay reporting until 7/1/2022 so that he could be present for his daughter's high school graduation.
Sentencing could have been worse for Spivey. Forty months prison time was recommended by prosecutors, but Roberts sentenced Spivey to a lesser sentence of 24 months.
Before sentencing, Spivey, 47, addressed the court and apologized to his loved ones and supporters. Despite pleading guilty in September of accepting $35,900 in bribes between 2018 and 2020 from a confidential FBI source in exchange for Spivey's use of political influence, the ex-councilman said he still believed in himself.
photo courtesy of Detroit Free Press
“I broke the law, and I was wrong,” Spivey said. “I still believe in reclamation and second chances, and when I look in the mirror, I still believe in myself. I ask this court to believe in me, too.”
Although Spivey has been sentenced, he could leave the courtroom surrounded by his fraternity brothers and others. Spivey avoided reporters as he left the courtroom and made his way to a car waiting in the parking lot across from the courthouse.
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