Covering Louisiana

Sep 11, 2013 1:41 PM by AP, PHOTO: MGN ONLINE

Ex-Orleans official sentenced in kickback scheme

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A former Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office official who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery charges for accepting kickbacks in exchange for rigging several contracting bids has been sentenced in federal court to probation and a fine.

The Times-Picayune reports former Col. Gerard Hoffman, who was director of maintenance, was put on probation for five years, and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine. He avoided prison time, with U.S. District Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo citing his poor health.

He appeared in court in a wheelchair and hooked up to oxygen tubes. His lawyer, Paul J. Masinter, said Hoffman has liver failure and is need of a transplant.

Prosecutors say Hoffman accepted more than $7,500 worth of gifts in return for engaging in a bid-rigging scheme.

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