What a week for crooked mayor news, even by Miami standards. After former North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau was found guilty on fraud charges earlier this week, another former area mayor received his sentence for an earlier corruption case.
Steve Bateman, formerly the mayor of Homestead, will spend the next 22 months behind bars.
Bateman was found guilty back on September 22. While in office, Bateman secured a cushy $125-an-hour consulting gig with Community Health of South Florida Inc. Not so coincidentally, Community Health wanted to build clinics in the city. Bateman than used his office to fast track certain deals that benefited Community Health.
Bateman's lawyers had hoped that he'd get off with just probation and brought in a whole host of character witnesses to talk about what a good man he is. According to The Herald, a Scoutmaster and an Air Force colonel even showed up.
Though, City Manager George Gretsas sent a letter to the judge last month with the blessing of the city council detailing Bateman's other "inappropriate, behind-the-scenes behavior."
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Prosectors, meanwhile, wanted Bateman to spend six years or more in a cell to send an example to other local politicians.
However, in the end neither prosecutors or the defense got their way when Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Robert Luck settled on the 22 month sentence.