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Queens Chronicle

Pol may get more jail time than he bargained for

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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:00 am

Brian McLaughlin, the disgraced former politician and union heavyweight, may get more time behind bars than he anticipated.

McLaughlin was to be sentenced in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court on Wednesday. Details could not be acquired by press time, but visit our website, queenschronicle.com, for an update.

The former state assemblyman admitted under oath last year that he took more than $2 million in funds from a variety of sources, including a Little League baseball program in Flushing, political campaign funds and funds from employers around the electrical industry, whose workers he represented through his union responsibilities.

He admitted to using the money to finance a lavish lifestyle, replete with country club accounts, a boat, a second home on Long Island and a number of mistresses.

He pleaded guilty to racketeering and perjury in return for a sentence of between eight and 10 years in prison.

However, in court papers, Judge Richard Sullivan said he is considering an “upward departure” from the agreement, meaning McLaughlin could see more than 10 years. The judge is considering the harsher sentence due to the nature of McLaughlin’s crimes, specifically his abuse of the public trust.

Based in Flushing, McLaughlin served the 25th Assembly District, which includes Richmond Hill, Whitestone, Fresh Meadows and parts of Briarwood, from 1993 to 2006.

He announced he would not run for re-election in January of 2006, prior to the revelations of his illegal activities, citing a desire to concentrate his efforts with the New York City Central Labor Council, the local branch of the AFL-CIO. He had served as president of the council for 10 years.

Less than two months later, a team of FBI agents raided McLaughlin’s office.

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