NORFOLK, Va. — A federal judge in Richmond today sentenced former state Del. Phil Hamilton, who recently was convicted of bribery and extortion, to serve 9½ years in prison.
That sentence – meaning my lede, not Hamilton’s – is pretty much a total ripoff of Julian Walker’s opening line in The Virginian-Pilot‘s online report. Homage, baby.
The other sentence – Hamilton’s, not my lede – is my cheap cue as a native Ocean Stater to inform Hamilton that he has a marvelous future at virtually any level of Rhode Island government. After all, my home state’s cookie jar has had more hands caught in it than, oh, let’s just let that thought end.
The decision concludes this phase of a saga that dates to 2006, when prosecutors said Hamilton began soliciting a paid position through Old Dominion University with a teacher training program for which he helped secured $500,000 in state start-up funds the following year.
Hamilton, 59, was subsequently given a job with a $40,000 annual salary at ODU’s Center for Teacher Quality and Educational Leadership, a title he held for about two years until after the arrangement was exposed by The Virginian-Pilot.
He wasn’t taken into custody after the hearing, but must surrender to federal authorities by Sept. 19 to begin his sentence. His attorney said Hamilton will appeal the verdict.
So. The saga has another phase. Still, the Imaginary Board of Trustees has granted me permission to borrow the key to the Wayback Machine. Quite a fuss went up among the imaginary trustees when I invoked the timeliness clause. So the Wayback Machine is fired up, and we can revisit my terrible “poem” about Hamilton’s slippery dealing with a very fine public university where I just happen to attend grad school. Let’s travel together, way back to … May 2011.
‘Quid Pro Oh No (Revised)’
tried to securesecured funding
for a state university
with a string attached
and unlike the assembly
that bestows such funds
it wasn’t general at all – no! –
the string was specific,
tied to the assemblyman himself,
job hunting, job getting
in a ‘corrupt arrangement,’
federal prosecutors allege
prosecutors argued in court
with conviction enough
for enough of a conviction,
and so a federal court judge
named Henry E. Hudson,
whose initials are HEH,
was resigned to give the gift
that otherwise grows more elusive
as mortal men give it chase,
‘the toughest decision I’ve made
in my 13 years as a judge,’
this gift, the hardest time itself.
I promise I will have no reason to repost this “poem” for another 9½ years. That is a mere 8.6868 years for my friends who use the metric system. Respect to the math.
- I’ll return to this bit earlier, perhaps, with good behavior.
- And what if the promised appeal goes forward, and perchance succeeds? We are nothing if not the sum of our revisions.
Back by popular demand, here is a pointless link to the post you just read.