2011-12-15 / Front Page / Politics

Maguire sentenced to 4 months in prison

Markedly less than prosecutors had sought
Douglas Cunningham

 By the end of Friday afternoon, it was clear that neither Raymond Maguire Jr. nor government prosecutors would be entirely happy. He is headed to federal prison, for a crime he committed at the behest of then state senator Vinnie Leibell, but not for the 12 to 18 months that prosecutors sought.

His sentence, handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel, is four months in federal prison and four more months of home confinement, to be served as part of one year of probation, once he finishes the prison time. Maguire and his lawyer, Richard D. Willstatter, of White Plains, had sought no jail time; the federal prosecutors wanted 12 to 18 months. It was clear that Seibel agonized over the sentence, weighing what she called the corrosive effects of public corruption against Maguire's otherwise exemplary life.

Maguire was the chief aide and general enforcer for Leibell, long regarded as Putnam's political boss and now serving time in a prison camp in Pennsylvania following his own guilty plea to corruption charges. Maguire pleaded guilty earlier this year to asking a contractor for Leibell's house to prepare phony paperwork to make it appear Leibell had paid full price, when in fact it had been many thousands of dollars below market value. At the time, federal authorities and a grand jury had already begun their investigation. The contractor, according to the government, had also done work for Leibell's Putnam Community Foundation, involved in senior housing.

Meanwhile, the overall federal investigation into perhaps two dozen other individuals in Westchester and Putnam counties continues.

 U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated after the verdict: “Raymond Maguire was a corrupt staffer for a corrupt politician. Elected officials and other public employees who exploit their positions for personal gain violate the public trust and will be held to account for their crimes.”

Maguire's lawyer, Willstatter, said on the courthouse steps: "Ray Maguire and his family accept the judge's decision to send him to jail, even though we strongly believe a sentence of probation would have been sufficient. Mr. Maguire and his family hope to put this unpleasant episode behind them and move forward."

Watch the PCN&R and Courier for more updates, including additional coverage and photographs.



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